A cellphone based indoor way finding system for the visually challenged
Roshni is a portable and self-contained system fabricated using the commercially available infra-red sensor-suite. The system consists of a user module and a network of wall-mounted units spaced at distanced intervals. User module is a waist-worn device comprising of receiver for detecting user movement and a user interface in the form of a mobile phone application. Each wall-mounted unit emits a unique identification tag that is associated with a location on the digital map of the building. The detailed map of the interior of the building can either be downloaded from the net or can be downloaded on the mobile phone at the entry to the building. By pressing keys on his/her mobile unit, the user can obtain directions to any desired location on the map from his/her current position. As the user moves in the building, the waist-worn module updates the position of the user. The navigation information is conveyed to the user acoustically using the text-to-speech engine of the phone application. Roshni has been developed to be applicable and available to users in developing countries. The underlying technology has a pending patent and the device is in final stages of development, user demonstration and feedback.
- Constraints of independent mobility and navigation in an unfamiliar indoor environment is the primary challenge for visually impaired persons
- 87% of visually impaired persons live in the developing countries (WHO, 2009) and hence can't afford expensive technology. Therefore, low cost solution is required.
- Difficulty in navigation especially in GPS denied areas like indoor environment.
- Roshni is an indoor navigation system based on Infrared (IR) Technology which uses auditory outputs for providing directions to the user.
- The technology involved in Roshni uses mobile application for interaction with user and easily integrates with existing building infrastructure
- Affordable and convenient to use and is targeted for the users in developing countries with little or no access to affordable assistive technology products.
- System is installed in an institute building and undergoing user evaluation.
- Efforts underway for permanent deployment in several building for longer term use.
- Based on prior user testing and feedback, improved Roshni waist modules have been developed, prototyped and tested.
- Based on prior user testing and feedback, improved TacRead braille display modules have been developed, prototyped and tested.
- Efforts for fabrication of displays for large-scale user trials are in progress.
- DAISY Consortium’s Transforming Braille Project has evaluated TacRead. It has been identified as a potential solution to the low-cost Braille display challenge. It is to be considered in the upcoming phase of the project.
Dhruv Jain, Himanshu Meenia and AshwiniChoudhary are the core inventors of Roshni Indoor Navigation Technology. They have developed Roshniand have been leading the prototyping of the device, while AkhilaKomarika and Alpana Singh has been consistently involved in user-testing activities of the project.
Prof. M. Balakrishnan, Prof. P. V. Madhusudhan Rao and Dr. Rohan Paul are mentors and principal investigators at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and are leading the Assistive Technologies Group at the institute. They are guiding and supervising the development process.Mr. MadanLalVerma and Mr. S.D. Sharma are the Lab Incharge authorities consistently helping the students in developing the User Modules of Roshni. Supriya Das and SatguruRathi constitute the Current Research Staff of Roshni Team
- Emerged as winners in Eureka Paper presentation, Techkriti IIT Kanpur’s Technical Festival 2013.
- Selected as National Finalist in India Innovation Inititative (i3 2013)
- Received Best Paper Award at 13th International Conference on “Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled People” (TRANSED 2012).
- Awarded Best Poster, in the Poster Presentation at 4th IBM Collaberative Academia Research Exchange ( I-CARE 2012) held in Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, India.
- Received Media Recognition in Deccan Herald, Indian Express, Mathrubhumi Education and Hindustan Times
User study, with consistent help from Mr. Dipendra Manocha from Saksham Trust, New Delhi and staff and students at National Assosiation for the Blind(NAB),Delhi has been an integral part of the development process. Direct user study at every stage including problem identification, design feedback and prototype validation, has led to the development of an improved Roshni waist module with minimized dimension and improved interface design.