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A Virtual 'guide Dog' For Navigation


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"Reading" braille.

A mechanical Braille interface developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory conveys information to the visually impaired about the distance to the nearest obstacle in the direction the user is moving.

Credit: MIT News

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have modified an algorithm for processing three-dimensional (3D) camera data with power conservation in mind.

The team used the algorithm to develop a new chip and they report it consumes 1/1,000 as much power as a conventional computer processor.

The biggest energy drain on chips today is fetching data from main memory. The researchers came up with a way to reliably preload data without having to go back to main memory.

The team also built a prototype of a complete navigation system for the visually impaired that uses an experimental (3D) camera. The component of the system that consumes the most energy is the camera, so the researchers added a circuit that quickly and coarsely compares each new frame of data captured by the camera to help save power. Visually impaired people could use the technology in a wearable device to navigate their environments.

The researchers presented a paper on their work at this week's International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

From MIT News
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