Aravinda S. Rao, Jayavardhana Gubbi, Marimuthu Palaniswami, Elaine Wong
2016 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC), IEEE, pp.1-6
Publication year: 2016

Abstract

Vision is one of the most advanced and important sensory input in humans. However, many people have vision problems due to birth defects, uncorrected errors, work nature, accidents, and aging. The white cane and guide dog are the most widely used means of navigation for the vision-impaired. With advancements in technology, electronic devices have been created using different sensors and technologies to help navigate the blind. Electronic Travel Aids (ETAs) assist in navigating a person by collecting information about the environment and relaying this information in a form that allows a blind or vision-impaired person to understand the nature of the environment. However, there is still a lack of devices to detect potholes and uneven pavements, which inhibits mobility after dark. This pilot study proposes a computer vision based pothole and uneven surface detection approach to assist blind people in meeting their mobility needs. The system includes projecting laser patterns, recording the patterns through a monocular video, analyzing the patterns to extract features and then providing path cues for the blind user. With over 90% accuracy in detecting potholes, the proposed system aims to assist blind people in real-time navigation.