Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

2016 Grand Challenges Spotlight Talk: M. Balakrishnan (Professor, Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology) - “SmartCane”.
From the 2016 meeting in London, United Kingdom ; Date: October 24, 2016

"Serving individuals with special needs through research and innovation in affordable assistive technologies"

ASSISTECH is an inter-disciplinary group of faculty, research staff and students from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, which is engaged in using modern technology for finding affordable solutions for the differently abled in country. The focus of the group is on mobility and education which we consider are fundamental to enable any person to live independently and with dignity.



After grand success of SmartCane, a study was conducted which identified more serious problems which could be solved using the current technologies. The three major problems to be tackled with MAVI are:
  • Safety
  • Social Inclusion
  • Navigation
A mix of computer vision, web based and cloud based techniques are being used in order to achieve the same. The idea is to have a system which could work both offline and online since the network conditions aren't very reliable for a huge majority. Here is a recent presentation about the challenges we are facing from a computer vision perspective.


OnBoard receives recognition from Department of Science and Technology 3rd January 2016 at University of Mysore, Mysuru.

Prof. M. Balakrishnan, and Prof. PVM Rao have been honoured with the "National Award to Scientist(s) working on Improving Accessibility for the Disabled" by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India for their work on the "Public bus accessibility for the visually impaired". The award was given away by the Hon’ble Prime Minister during the inaugural session of Indian Science Congress 2016 on 03rd January 2016 at University of Mysore, Mysuru.

Link to Video