A smart cane to help the visually challenged

There was excitement at Government Arts College when some visually challenged persons tried out a smart cane that helps them sense objects.

Updated - March 29, 2016 02:59 pm IST

Published - August 13, 2015 12:00 am IST - COIMBATORE:

Visually challenged persons getting a feel of the smart cane at a workshop held at the Government Arts College, Coimbatore, on Wednesday. —Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

Visually challenged persons getting a feel of the smart cane at a workshop held at the Government Arts College, Coimbatore, on Wednesday. —Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

There was excitement at Government Arts College when some visually challenged persons tried out a smart cane that helps them sense objects from 1.8 to three metres and obstructions that are waist high and above.

One of the participants, K. Palaniappan, said, “This will help us avoid obstacles that we earlier could not sense with the ordinary cane, which only helped us navigate stones or potholes.” Promoted by Saksham, a New Delhi-based organisation, with help from the Madurai chapter of the Indian Association for Blind, the cane sends out beeps and vibrations in various patterns to alert the users. Piyush Chananna of Saksham said that the cane could alert the users about parked trucks, cloth strings, protruding coolers or air conditioners, tree branches and so on from at least a couple of metres away.

Priced at Rs. 3,000 the smart cane comes with a sensor unit that runs on battery.

R. Srinivasan, a faculty at the Government Arts College, Coimbatore, said the Central Government should help the visually challenged through its programme, by providing them the cane at a subsidised rate or at no cost at all. S. Nagasundari of the Madurai Chapter of the Indian Association for Blind said that the workshop was more of an awareness creation exercise on mobility and aimed at product promotion.

It sends out beeps

and vibrations in various patterns to alert the users

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