The cane developed by the VACSS is easy to use and costs a maximum of Rs. 2,500
In a smart world man has a number of gadgets to make his work and life comfortable and communicate faster. But for the visually challenged poor, it is still a cane that helps him/her find way. With increasing population and traffic and spaces becoming more crowded, its use is becoming difficult.
To help overcome the handicap, the Vision Aid Charitable Services Society (VACSS) here has come out with an electronic cane.
The cane measuring 20 inches is made of UPVC. It comprises a sensor with transmitter and receiver at the lower-end, a vibrator close to the grip and works on a rechargeable battery.Beeps and vibrations
When the user switches it on, it emits broken beeps and vibration when the object/obstacle is in the vicinity and continuous beep when closer. The beep is to alert the other people about the presence of a visually challenged person and the vibration alerts the user about the objects in the path.
“The range is about 1.5 metres. Anything longer is likely to be counterproductive and if it is too short may lead to collision,” explains M.S. Raju, president of VACSS.
Quoting World Health Organisation statistics, Mr. Raju, an IITian from Kharagpur and former executive chairman of the Stone Telecom, says while about two crore people have visual impairment in the country, the highest in the world, half of them cannot see at all.
About 20 lakh have to move about to lead their life. For them there has not been any improvement over the white cane for a long time now, he observes.
Mr. Raju says the electronic cane being produced in the other countries is either expensive or the research is incomplete.
In the country, IIT, Delhi and Kharagpur, have developed prototypes with more sensors and analogue system where the users are alerted through earphones. However, it cuts off the user from the environment, he points out. They are costlier, longer and heavier, he says.
The cane developed by the VACSS is easy to use and costs a maximum of Rs.2,500.