The daily difficulties faced by the visually impaired are seemingly unfathomable to the ones blessed with the gift of vision, but the blessing of technology has brought about one such innovation that is sure to make life a little bit easier for the blind. The SmartCane, developed by Robotics researcher and Inventor Dr. Rohan Paul during his undergraduate studies at IIT Delhi, resolves the issue of detecting obstacles above the waist that a regular white cane has been unable to. An electronic travel aid which fits as a handle of the white cane, it’s inspired from animal ability to use ultrasonic waves and vibrations to avoid collision(read: Bats), this device can respond to approaching hurdles fast and can detect everything from signboards, people, parked cycles, or even cattle blocking the path! Already a boon to more than 10,000 people across India, it comes at a not-so-costly pricing of Rs. 3500. Dr. Rohan states that the idea behind this invention was to empower all the visually impaired and cure their fear of venturing out into the world without assistance, providing them with not just safety but also the dignity of self-reliance. Their next step is to tie-up with government institutions, schools, hospitals and local NGOs to find and reach out to the millions of visually impaired residing in the poorest and most remote areas of the country and the world.
Image source: CNN