The proposed navigation system was designed in cooperation with doctors and physiotherapists.
An innovative approach to the problem is to use the sense of neck touch as a channel for transmitting information about the suggested movement direction. The use of vibration as a means of communication is a new development in personal electronics and support systems.
The most important element of the device is the vibrating collar.
The collar codes geographic directions and simple manoeuvres into short vibrational impulses felt by the person wearing it around the neck – explains engineer Mikołaj Woźniak from the design team. – The collar, which is wirelessly controlled by a microcontroller, connects via Bluetooth with popular navigation systems, e.g. with Google Maps. Most of the existing solutions are based on audio communication. Thanks to our solution, a visually impaired person does not involve hearing - which is crucial for him in perceiving the outside world, but he only feels the delicate stimuli appearing around the neck. It is important for the improvement of road safety, but also for the increased comfort and confidence of people with disabilities. The pulses are made by tiny vibration motors at appropriate intervals or at times requiring a manoeuvre.
As emphasized by the inventors, the collar made of breathable sports fabric allows the placement of vibration actuators according to the user's preferences.
Authors of the device for navigation for visually impaired pedestrians with the use of vibroactive electro-cutaneous feedback on the neck: Eng. Mikołaj Woźniak, M.Sc. Julia Dominiak, Adam Lewczuk, dr hab. Eng. Krzysztof Grudzień, prof. of TUL, dr inż. Zbigniew Chaniecki, dr inż. Adam Rylski, dr hab. Eng. Andrzej Romanowski, prof. of TUL