"Design a wireless low-power navigation system for the blind and visually-impaired people"
Thanh Huong NGUYEN
Friday, November 14, 2014 at 14:00
Over the last decades, the rapid development of wireless technology and microelectronic has caused a profound impact on our daily lives. Alongside the trend, assistive technologies have revolutionized in terms of miniaturization and wearability. The traditional bulky aided devices systems with wired connection are now replaced by the compact, lightweight and portable ones. The number of blind and visually impaired people continues to deal with many difficulties in daily lives, especially in mobility and navigation. The theory of sensory substitution in which information gained from one sensory modality can reach brain structures physiologically through other sensory modalities; therefore, it is possible for the blind and visually impaired people to get desired information via other senses. Based on these technologies and principles, we want to enhance the Tongue Display Unit, a lingual visuo-tactile device was invented by Professor Bach-y-Rita to a wireless, wearable, long-term device for navigation. In order to make such device, some properties have to be studied: optimization of energy consumption (to make it long-term) and efficient wireless communication. The ZigBee-based wireless transceiver module contributes to reducing the overall power consumption. Our antenna is appropriate for usage in blind people who cannot orient in advance. We modified all components of the TDU, from the hardware to software, from controller to actuator. The design of the electrode array is not rectangular as traditional but in a round shape which is supportively used for direction and navigation. Last the TDU system was validated by real-time operation and tested on real users. The performance of the system in terms of design and energy has been improved. The wireless communication is more effective and consumes less power. The primary results on users’ trials show rather good perception on our TDU.
Membres du jury :
M. Tan Phu VUONG, Grenoble INP : Supervisor M. Nicolas VUILLERME, Université Joseph Fourier : Co-supervisor Mme. Thi Lan LE, Institut Polytechnique de Hanoi : Co-supervisor Mme Thi Thanh Hai TRAN, Institut Polytechnique de Hanoi : Co-supervisor M. Yvan DUROC, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 : Rapporteur M. Michel AILLERIE, Université de Metz : Rapporteur M. Anthony GHIOTTO, Université Bordeaux 1 : Examiner M. Ke WU, École Polytechnique de Montréal : President
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Thesis prepared in the laboratory : UMR 5130 - IMEP-LAHC , supervised by Tan Phu VUONG .