IIT Dehli ASSISTech/Phoenix/Saksham
The SmartCane is an electronic device to assist in obstacle detection for the visually impaired.
The SmartCane is an electronic device that fits as a handle on walking sticks or white canes used by visually impaired people. The SmartCane adds additional functionality to the cane or walking stick, which can only detect obstacles up to knee height, by enabling obstacle detection from knee to head height using sonic waves.
Countries: India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Iran, Thailand, South Africa, Uganda
The SmartCane is distributed by these organizations: Amedia Corporation Akiyama, Access to Success, Distripharm LTD, Bahiru Abas Advertising Company, Namad Fanavari Emrooz Co, Christian Foundation for the Blind, Disability Management Services (DMS), Braille Press Limited, along with many other Indian partners listed here.
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
The target users include the blind or visually impaired, particularly individuals with no or limited vision up to half a meter or less.
The SmartCane is mass produced at Phoenix Medical’s Chennai based production facility.
Over 20,000 SmartCanes have been distributed as of 2019.
activity level, age range, type of disability (eg visually impaired)
– Dimensions (H x W x D): 240 x 53 x 32 mm
– Grip Height: 190 mm
– Maximum Grip Diameter: 32.5 mm
– Sensor-angle Settings : 3 Settings (0°, 17.8° and 35.6°)
– White Cane Diameter Range: 12.8 mm to 13.04 mm
– SmartCane Material: Polycarbonate
– Electrical Protection: Class II, Type BF
– Operating Temperature: -10° to +50° C
– Storage Temperature: -25° to +70° C
– Relative Humidity Range: 15% to 93% (RH)
– Storage Humidity Rang: 0% to 95% (RH)
– Barometric Pressure Range: 700 to 1060 hPa
– Storage Pressure Range: 0 to 1060 hPa
– Ingress protection: IP22
– Average Vibration Intensity: 0.8 m/s2
– Minimum Vibration Intensity: 0.6 m/s2
– Maximum Vibration Intensity: 2.3 m/s2
– Audible Alarms: > 65 dB(A)
– White Cane Length: 100 cm
– Comes with long-range and short-range modes
Training resources are provided in many languages by Saksham. Users may also contact the email an/or phone number provided on the SmartCane website. Often, the SmartCane distributors can provide the device, training, user support, and repair support in their respective country.
The warranty for a SmartCaneTM Device lasts for twelve months from the date of purchase.
Replacements: The battery is rechargeable. However it can be replaced at the manufacturer’s authorized service centers if needed. In certain cases the user can request for a replacement of the white cane if does not fit their height requirements.
The designers seek to address the need of alerting the visually-impaired of obstacles above knee-height, especially in crowded countries such as India.
The National Association for the Blind confirmed proof of concept. The SmartCane has also received the National Award from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment under the category of “Best Applied Research/Innovation/Product Development Aimed at Improving the Life of Persons with Disabilities”.
National Association for the Blind, National Institute for Visually Handicapped
Functioning electrical outlets are required to charge the device.
Singh, V., Paul, R., Mehra, D., Gupta, A., Sharma, V.D., Jain, S., Agarwal, C., Garg, A., Gujral, S.S., Balakrishnan, M. and Paul, K., 2010, ‘Smart’Cane for the Visually Impaired: Design and Controlled Field Testing of an Affordable Obstacle Detection System, TRANSED 2010: 12th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons, Hong Kong, China, June 1-4, 2010.
Balakrishnan, M., Paul, K., Garg, A., Paul, R., Mehra, D., Singh, V., Rao, P.V.M., Goel, V., Chatterjee, D. and Manocha, D., 2007, Cane Mounted Knee-Above Obstacle Detection and Warning System for the Visually Impaired, Proceedings of the IDETC/CIE, Las Vegas, NV, September 4-7, 2007, ASME Paper No. DETC2007-35238, pp. 143-151.
Rohan, P., Ankush, G., Vaibhav, S., Dheeraj, M., Balakrishnan, M., Kolin, P. and Dipendra, M., 2007, ‘Smart’Cane for the Visually Impaired: Technological Solutions for Detecting Knee-Above Obstacles and Accessing Public Buses, 11th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED) Transport, Montreal, Canada, June 18-21, 2007.
Chitranshi, G. and Yadav, R.K., 2014, Assistive Aids for the Disabled: Past, Present and Future, Confluence The Next Generation Information Technology Summit (Confluence), 2014 5th International Conference, Noida, India, Sept 25-26, 2014.
Elmannai, W. and Elleithy, K., 2017, Sensor-Based Assistive Devices for Visually-Impaired People: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Directions, Sensors, 17(3), p. 565.
The SmartCane design uses ISO certified processes for Design, Manufacture, Sales and Service and the cane is CE marked.
Methods: Researchers conducted user trials with over 150 people focusing on weight, size, ergonomics, electronics packaging, improving usability, reliability and maintainability of the product. Extensive multi-locations user feedback revealed many new requirements that helped in refining the product. Various grip configurations for the SmartCane were tested with a large group to assess grip ergonomics.
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