Date of Award


First Advisor

Aaron Williams

Second Advisor

Harold Hastings


Wearable technology holds demonstrated promise for improving the lives of people with a variety of disabilities. Here we present a wearable technology device that helps improve the mobility of visually impaired people by helping them navigate around obstacles in their paths. The device was designed with portability and affordability in mind, and the apparatus consists of a proximity sensor attached to an Arduino uno micro controller and a vibrator to alert users when they approach an obstacle. For the proximity sensor, an infrared sensor was chosen instead of an ultrasonic sensor, as infrared sensors outperform ultrasonic sensors with regards to the detection of solid objects. The device's portability and simplicity affords users a great degree of flexibility with regards to the device's potential applications, some of which we demonstrate in this work. We also consider an extension of this device that can also be used to assess depth, which would aid users in navigating paths involving movement along and around surfaces with inclines, such as stairs, ramps, and holes, as well as an extension using visual image processing to aid in interpreting useful visual stimuli.


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