Navigation Device with Haptic Feedback for the Visually Impaired


Member profile details

Membership level
2013-2014 Team
Project Thumbnail Image
Team Name
Project Title
Navigation Device with Haptic Feedback for the Visually Impaired
Design Challenge
There are 285 million visually impaired people worldwide. Without depending on caregivers or guide dogs, such individuals commonly rely on a white cane for their navigational needs. This centuries-old solution, however, is limited in range, resolution, and scope; it has a fixed length and cannot be used efficiently on delicate surfaces, above the waist, or in confined areas. Team Assisted Recognition CANE (ARCANE) is aiming to design a device which can supplement and correct the shortcomings of the white cane, creating a superior navigational aid.
Design Summary
Team ARCANE has created supplement to the white cane that warns visually impaired users of upcoming obstacles. This device detects objects that would otherwise not be detected by current visual aids, identifying overhead obstacles and trip hazards. Its innovative approach uses two RGB cameras on the user's head that gather information on the user’s environment through a depth map. This information is then communicated via Bluetooth through vibrating pager motors placed on the forearm of the user. Additionally, the device has a compass functionality to orient the visually impaired user. The team has successfully created a prototype that demonstrates this capability. For future work, Team ARCANE hopes to make it more compact for everyday use.

Date last updated: May 4th, 2014
The Fox Family, OEDK
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisor 1 - Name
Gary Woods
Faculty Advisor 1 - Department
  • ECE
Faculty Advisor 2 - Name
Marcia O'Malley
Faculty Advisor 2 - Department
  • MECH
Award(s) and Recognition
ECE Affiliates Day, Rice University: Best ECE Senior Design Project and Second Place in Undergraduate

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