Our Project


There are many blind people in the world; out of those, there are many who experience difficulty in getting around. While some of the visually-impaired learn echolocation, the same technique that bats use to get around in the dark, other people find it difficult; and while long canes and guide dogs are useful, they still have their flaws.

Devices have been made to combat these disadvantages — for example: K-Sonar, the Sonic Pathfinder, vOICe, and Miniguide. They use ultrasonic sensors to gauge distances and then warn the user of nearby obstacles, usually via a series of beeps. However, we thought we could improve on those designs. Thus, the idea of the USSG (Ultrasonic Smart Goggles) was born.

The USSG has four ‘USCDs’ (Ultrasonic Sensor-Camera Devices). The ultrasonic sensors on the top gauge distances, while the cameras on the bottom record video. The resultant data is sent to a microcomputer on the back of the goggles, and then wirelessly to the computers on a belt. Those computers process the data to form a 3D map, so it can tell apart different objects.

There are four vibrators, each on the opposite side of the belt from a computer, that vibrate once an object gets too close. They are each paired to the USCD almost directly above it, so when the leftmost USCD detects something, the leftmost vibrator will shake.
The USSG can be set to warn the user about obstacles from one foot to five feet away to better deal with different surroundings (for example, the inside of a home compared to a quiet area of the suburbs).

Not only can this design potentially help numerous blind individuals, it can help people in ‘blind’ situations: for example, a firefighter in a burning, smoke-filled building. Since the device is designed to look like any normal pair of goggles and a belt, a blind person could walk around without calling attention to the fact that they’re blind.

Someday in the future, the USSG could be used in conjunction with a specially-made house to guide blind individuals through the rooms. Important objects such as refrigerators, doorways, and microwaves would have sensors embedded within them as part of the ‘HNS’ (Home Navigation System). The design could even be upgraded to an upper-body suit covered with ultrasonic sensors.

Comments are closed.