Press release here in Japanese
There are 300,000 people with visual impairments (according to the number of physically disabled certificates issued). However, according to an epidemiological estimation by the Japan Ophthalmologists Association, 1,640,000 people spend life inconvenienced by some form of visual impairment. In an aging society this number is only expected to increase.
When people with visual impairments go out, they either need to use a white cane or be guided by another person. These methods require training and are often a burden to the companions. Also, Japan only has 1000 guide dogs, which comes to 1 for every 300 individuals. To address these issues, we have been developing a cane-type navigation device. During the process of development, we received various awards and were reported on by the media. This made us realize that society is interested in our research.
This is the first time that we tried crowdfunding. We intend to make new improvements to the device based on how much support we receive for this project. Continued support from everyone is very much appreciated.
”We want to bring the demonstration of our cane-typed navigation device to its final stages.”
Visually-impaired people use a white cane when they walk around the street, which requires concentration and tension at all times. In fact, even with a white cane they still run into things or get lost.
The support gathered from this crowdfunding will help us develop a charging dock and power supply for the device, bringing us closer to demonstrations that show the full implementation of the device. For example, a user would take the device from the charging dock, make a trip around the demo area and then return to the charging dock.
Past activities, etc.
■Lectures of the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers System Integration Division (SICE SI) SI2010 Received Award of Excellence ”Road guide system for pedestrians that has a dog-walking type interface”
■IoT/AIDOR EXPERIMENTATION 2017
“Functional verification of pedestrian guidance system using a wheeled cane device”
■IoT/AIDOR EXPERIMENTATION 2018
“Functional verification of pedestrian guidance system for visually-impaired using a wheeled cane device”
■Service Robot Development Technology Exhibition 2019 Seminar “A cane-type navigation device that gives the visually impaired movement independence”
【Appearance in the media, etc.】
■NHK News Kansai version 15 January, 2018
■MBS “Chichin Puipui” 12 March, 2018
■NHK Radio #2 ”Navigation and radio for visually-impaired/Radio” 28 January, 2018
■Yomiuri Shimbun Kansai version（evening edition）15 January, 2018
■The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun 16 January, 2018
■Yomiuri Shimbun Kansai version (morning edition) 1 February, 2019