A young research scholar from the Applied Mechanics department of Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT) has designed a sensor-based high-tech walking stick for blind persons.
Sajal Babu, the research scholar who has developed this stick under the guidance of Professor Ravi Prakash Tiwari, has named it ‘smart blind stick’.
The stick is fitted with a radio frequency (RF) transmitter and receiver. It is also equipped with a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) sensor and an ultrasonic sensor.
“We have fitted the stick with RF transmitter because of which any blind person will be able to find his or her stick within a distance of nearly 15 metres because the rod has a receiver, too. The user will just push a button on the remote in his hand and the stick would sound the buzzer telling the place where it is placed”, explained Sajal.
The stick will also inform the user about the luminosity of his surroundings.
“Suppose the user enters a room which is dark, the stick would make a sound through which the blind person can know that it is dark and he or she have to switch on the light,” he said.
The ultrasonic sensor will also warn about hindrances in the path. The stick will make a beeping sound, the frequency of which would increase as the hindrance comes nearer, he added.
Sajal has used a simple blind stick which is available in the market and made the modifications. The stick folds in three layers and is fitted with a rechargeable lithium battery which lasts for 24 hours.
“In the coming days, we will also add more sensors to the stick which would help the user in navigating the path through Google map, tell the number of steps that they have to climb and also inform beforehand about any pit or uneven path that lies in their way,” he said.
According to Sajal, the first prototype of the stick costs nearly Rs 800 but if there is mass production, this would come down.
The patent process for this stick would also be initiated by the department in the days to come.
“I am happy that after getting the design patented, this would be a ‘Made-in-India’ product and easily available to consumers for a nominal price. There are nearly 2.68 crore blind persons in India as per the 2011 census”, the research scholar added.
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