An ‘Artificial Intelligence Backpack’ will be developed to support walking for blind people in place of guide dogs – GIGAZINE

An 'Artificial Intelligence Backpack' will be developed to support walking for blind people in place of guide dogs - GIGAZINE



For the visually impaired to get around town safely, check the road surface in front of themWhite stickorDog guideIt is essential to get support from. A research team at the University of Georgia has developed a “system that supports the visually impaired with an AI-equipped backpack” in an effort to replace guide dogs and white sticks with the latest technology.

Intel AI Backpack helps blind people navigate the world
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/newsroom/news/ai-powered-backpack-visually-impaired-navigate.html#gs.073v8o

The AI-equipped backpack allows the blind to walk in public places without dogs or canes
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-03-ai-equipped-backpack-dogs-cane.html

In recent years, there has been a move to use technology to help the visually impaired. For example, Google is a blind smartphone app that reads surrounding objects and characters.Attention, be careful, take careIn addition to developing, Microsoft is also a similar applicationSeeing artificial intelligenceIt is available now.

However, a research team led by Jagadish K. Mahendran, a researcher in artificial intelligence at the University of Georgia, believed that these smartphone apps were not enough, and that a better support system was needed. Therefore, we developed a “AI Backpack Support System” as a system that supports the visually impaired walking outside.

You can see what the system already developed by the research team looks like by watching the following movie.

Visual Aid System for the Blind – YouTube

The system developed by the research team uses backpacks, waist bags, clothes, etc. The camera kit is equipped with an AI camera for area recognition, which can also obtain depth informationOAK-DAttach it to the inside of your jacket or waist bag, and attach a lightweight computer unit or GPS inside the backpack.

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The jacket pocket and waist pocket also contain a small battery that can be used continuously for about 8 hours.


The OAK-D is an Intel camera processor.Movidius Vision Processing Unit (VPU), A suite of computer vision applicationsOpenVINO ToolkitImplement the developer program in. The artificial intelligence system developed by the research team has been trained to recognize roads, barriers, cars, bicycles, other pedestrians, signs, tree branches hanging over the road, etc., which are recognized by visible pedestrians when walking in the city. It appears that the user can hear the voice instructions via the bluetooth headset.


The backpack test is actually CaliforniaMonroviaIt was held in the neighboring city. When a man wearing a jacket, waist bag and backpack with an OAK-D unit walks on the road …


He read aloud a sign in front of him and told me he was approaching an intersection on the road. By using sound to indicate an ambient situation, people with low vision can recognize the situation without the help of a white stick or guide dog.


The system also alerts you when it detects an obstacle in front of you; for example, a thin wire supporting electric poles, etc.Branch lineIf there is, the acoustic “center” will tell you that there is an obstacle in your straight line.


When I slid my body according to this sound, a “left (left)” sound was heard, telling me that the obstacle was on my left side.


Also, when you come across a planting coming out of the garden and into the road, it will tell you that there is an obstacle in the sky by saying “up” and “ahead”.

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When you say “row” and summon the AI, the AI ​​recognizes the surrounding situation and says “yellow pavement”, “person”, “traffic light”, etc., “10”. He will explain with directions that look like clocks, such as “hour (10 o’clock)”, “11 o’clock (11 o’clock)” and “2 o’clock”.


Artificial intelligence researcher Mahindran developed this backpack when he met a friend of the visually impaired, saying, “While researchers are teaching robots to see things, they can see things. There are many people who need help without hesitation,” he said, as he noticed the ironic truth.

This is why I am so happy to see something like a valuable and awesome AI backpack designed with it, ”said Brandon Gill, Luxonis Founder and CEO, developer of OAK-D, said:“ Our mission at Luxonis is to help engineers quickly harness the power of Intel AI and build something important. OAK-D very quickly. “

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