Team Project for Applied Fabrication
Fall 2014

Walkman is a wearable assistive technology created to aid a blind person walk without bumping into obstacles.
It uses sonar sensor to detect obstacles in a users path and provide haptic feedback about the obstacles ahead.

I proposed to build Walkman as my final project for my applied fabrication class. Walkman copies the skills of animals such as bats, which emit sonar calls into their surroundings and use the echoes bouncing back from nearby objects to divert around them. Walkman sends out ultrasound waves and detects them on their return, and uses vibrations to inform users of any obstacles in their way.

Prototype 0.01

Current problems

  • White canes take up space and use up a hand
  • If you are carrying an object with both your hands you cant use the cane
  • Without a cane it is very difficult to navigate
  • The sweeping motion to detect obstacles in not optimal
  • The white cane may hit other people or delicate objects

Prototype 1

Prototype 1 was the first test of concept. We used an Arduino Uno and attached a sonar sensor for sensing objects and a vibration motor for haptic feedback.

Prototype 2

In our next version, we worked on fixing some technical issues we had in our first prototype. We scaled up our model to sense obstacles at a wider range and provide a diverse sense of haptic feedback.

Prototype 3

In our final version we 3d print the molds, joints and safety boards. Mounted the device onto a elastic band with velcro straps.

Final Product

Here's a look at our final product.