AIA (ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AIDED) VISION: HELPING THE BLIND TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE BY BRINGING SITUATIONAL AND SCENE AWARENESS USING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, IMAGE RECOGNITION, DISTANCE SENSING, AND MACHINE LEARNING.
DIGITAL MEDICINE & WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
Author: Hari Sola
Coauthor(s): Nagasai Sreyash Sola About: 8th grader, World Maker Faire Editor’s Choice award winner (for his work and research, to assist disabled and blind), Congressional recognition recipient, winner of the NASA’s Future Engineers national 3D design challenge – won 3D printer to his school. References: Website: gowithtouch.org Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/want-to-help-the-astronauts-of-the-future-try-your-hand-at-3-d-printing/2016/07/06/a62a8018-43a7-11e6-88d0-6adee48be8bc_story.html?utm_term=.8065e793a4fc Popular Science: https://www.popsci.com/winners-star-trek-and-nasas-student-3d-printing-challenge 3D Printer: https://www.facebook.com/LCPSofficial/posts/1391644074181163
Status: Work In Progress
Without the ability to see, the usual simple tasks are also very challenging for the blind.
Visually impaired people have great difficulty in navigating surroundings, especially in unknown environments. Physical movement is one of the biggest hurdles for the blind. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, blind can be helped to understand their surroundings better and navigate safely.
With image recognition, the blind can “listen” to the scene and hear about the prominent objects surrounding them. A smart device with image recording, distance sensing and artificial intelligence capabilities (AIA vision system) can provide this kind of voice feedback to the blind. Other characteristics like color, size of the object can also be read out. A distance sensor can be used to measure the distances of the sensed objects.
A laser beam projected in the same orientation and direction of the camera can be used to point to objects in the scene and AIA vision system can read out the name and distance of the object that laser beam is falling on.
This gives blind a sense of surroundings and how far objects are around them. In addition to the laser beam, pointing hand or finger in the camera view can also be used to call out the objects in that direction. For example, blind can point to a direction and know what objects are present in that direction. This feature can be used to find and reach out to the required objects.
Blind can also be assisted by providing directions to the learned things by the system. For example, in response “to take me to milk” request, AIA vision can give directions like:
Walk forward few feet, take one step to the right, open fridge, bring your hand to the camera view, move hand few inches to the right, move the hand forward to grab the milk.
AIA vision can also read labels using character recognition. It can read out different items in the view and importantly read out prescription drug labels and their expiry dates.
An image based and artificial intelligent directional maps and models can be built for public places like metros/shopping malls. AIA vision system can utilize(load) these maps and assist the blind person to navigate such places by providing directions and avoiding obstacles.
AIA vision can recognize and learn about people, pets etc., For example, if a person enters the view of the AIA vision device, and if the system recognizes the person, the system can speak out the person’s name to the blind person. This gives blind a greater awareness of surroundings. AIA vision will also be able to learn to recognize new people either by pre-fed images of a person (for examples known friends and family) or on demand. AIA vision can identify the emotions of the other person (happy, smiling, angry, crying etc.,) and communicate it to the blind.
With such capabilities, AIA vision is greatly helpful for the blind to be self-reliant and confident in their lives.