Apr 13, 2014

Voxel 3d printed mobility assistance cane for the visually impaired

Another great example of using 3d printing for prototyping and developing new technologies for the disabled. I couldn't find more information on it except video description. It would be great if the creators would open source it.

From video description:
A smart white cane that helps the visually impaired keep active and independent.
Voxel gives anyone mobility assistance by integrating a traditional white cane, with new technologies.

An estimated 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired, with 39 million of those blind and 246 having low vision. The smart white cane, combines GPS technology and long distance measuring sensors, allowing the blind or visually impaired person to navigate public spaces with ease.
The user's smart phone's GPS, provides directional guidance. Turn by turn vibrational feedback is received through the handle, which allows the user to pocket their smart phone and have a hand free.
Feedback on obstacles is provided through LED lights located at the base of the cane. This helps those with low vision or other vision impairments such as macular degeneration, to become more aware of their surroundings and getting used to using a cane.
Using 3D printing, and the open source digital community, repairs are minimised and personalisation of the cane is only a limit of the current 3D printing materials.
The user is able to navigate the smart phone application through the use of accessibility, allowing them to order new or replacement parts.
Voxel gives anyone who is visually impaired the option to use an electronic mobility aid.

Here are two projects that can also hep visually impaired and blind: