News and Events
Volume 1 - Edition 4
October 18, 2004
Object Tracking & Image-Based Control System for the Visually Impaired
Seeing-eye dogs could be a thing of the past within the next decade, say Samarabandu and McIsaac, faculty members in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, who have been researching systems for the visually impaired since January 2003. 

In recent years, researchers have been working to adapt technology developed for robot control to the development of high-technology assistive devices for the visually impaired.  Samarabandu and McIsaac are working to extend the development of assistive technology into a new area: object tracking and visual image-based control. 

Samarabandu and McIsaac use the technology of computer vision to provide a kind of “surrogate sight” for the human user, sensing information from the environment and communicating it through touch.  The product under development is a low-cost computer system which uses a colour camera to analyze a scene and recognize a desired object, then generates cues to the wearer’s arm to steer his or her hand towards the object.  In future work, Samarabandu and McIsaac will be able to build on this foundation to create a wearable computer system with all the capabilities of a seeing-eye dog, but at a fraction of the cost.

Samarabandu and McIsaac welcome collaborations with interested researchers in kinesiology, psychology and bioengineering.  For more information, contact Jagath Samarabandu (ext. 80058) or Ken McIsaac (ext. 88243).

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Last Updated: 14/10/04