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Design and Realization of an Electromagnetic Guiding System for Blind Running Athletes.

Pieralisi M, Petrini V, Di Mattia V, Manfredi G, De Leo A, Scalise L, Russo P, Cerri G - Sensors (Basel) (2015)

Bottom Line: An example is represented by blind runners who need to be physically linked to a sighted guide by means of non-stretchable tethers during races; with consequent limitations in terms of performance and independence.The system consists of: (1) a mobile unit, which is placed before the runner and generates two "electromagnetic walls" delimiting the way; (2) a receiving unit (worn by the athlete) that provides vibro-tactile warnings every time the user is going outside the safe area so as to encourage him to move toward the central position.The feasibility and the utility of the system proposed are demonstrated by means of tests carried out thanks to the collaboration of a blind volunteer.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, Ancona 60131, Italy. marco.pieralisi@univpm.it.

ABSTRACT
Nowadays the technologies aimed at improving the quality of life of people affected by visual diseases are quite common; e.g., devices to support walking or reading. Surprisingly, there is a lack of innovative technologies aimed at helping visually impaired athletes during physical activities. An example is represented by blind runners who need to be physically linked to a sighted guide by means of non-stretchable tethers during races; with consequent limitations in terms of performance and independence. This paper wants to investigate the possibility of realizing a system able to guide blind runners along a complex path, paving the way for the realization of an innovative device designed to improve their independence during training or competitions. The system consists of: (1) a mobile unit, which is placed before the runner and generates two "electromagnetic walls" delimiting the way; (2) a receiving unit (worn by the athlete) that provides vibro-tactile warnings every time the user is going outside the safe area so as to encourage him to move toward the central position. The feasibility and the utility of the system proposed are demonstrated by means of tests carried out thanks to the collaboration of a blind volunteer.

Show MeSH
Schematic representation of the whole system, divided in two subunits: one transmitting unit moving in front of the user, and one receiving unit worn by the user and including two vibrational warnings.
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sensors-15-16466-f002: Schematic representation of the whole system, divided in two subunits: one transmitting unit moving in front of the user, and one receiving unit worn by the user and including two vibrational warnings.

Mentions: The EM guiding system consists of a transmitting unit to be placed on a mobile structure running in front of the user and a receiving sensor worn by the athlete. Figure 2 depicts a schematic representation of the whole system: the transmitting unit, on the left, includes a X-band signal generator, two radiating elements that generate the two EM walls and two modulators at two different frequencies in order to discriminate left and right boundaries. The choice of the transmitting frequency is essentially related to the possibility of designing antenna with reduced dimensions, whereas the choice of the modulation technique is not critical. In particular, a square wave amplitude modulation (AM), duty cycle 50%, at the frequencies of 1 kHz and 10 kHz, for the left and right EM walls respectively, have been used. The receiving system, on the right of Figure 2, consists of a small antenna, a demodulator, two band-pass filters, a Micro Controller Unit for thresholds setting, and further signal processing and two vibration transducers to communicate a warning signal to the blind athlete. Among all the components, the antennas represent the most important elements whose design needs to meet specific requirements. In the following, both transmitting and receiving units will be described in detail, paying special attention to the antennas design and realization.


Design and Realization of an Electromagnetic Guiding System for Blind Running Athletes.

Pieralisi M, Petrini V, Di Mattia V, Manfredi G, De Leo A, Scalise L, Russo P, Cerri G - Sensors (Basel) (2015)

Schematic representation of the whole system, divided in two subunits: one transmitting unit moving in front of the user, and one receiving unit worn by the user and including two vibrational warnings.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4541888&req=5

sensors-15-16466-f002: Schematic representation of the whole system, divided in two subunits: one transmitting unit moving in front of the user, and one receiving unit worn by the user and including two vibrational warnings.
Mentions: The EM guiding system consists of a transmitting unit to be placed on a mobile structure running in front of the user and a receiving sensor worn by the athlete. Figure 2 depicts a schematic representation of the whole system: the transmitting unit, on the left, includes a X-band signal generator, two radiating elements that generate the two EM walls and two modulators at two different frequencies in order to discriminate left and right boundaries. The choice of the transmitting frequency is essentially related to the possibility of designing antenna with reduced dimensions, whereas the choice of the modulation technique is not critical. In particular, a square wave amplitude modulation (AM), duty cycle 50%, at the frequencies of 1 kHz and 10 kHz, for the left and right EM walls respectively, have been used. The receiving system, on the right of Figure 2, consists of a small antenna, a demodulator, two band-pass filters, a Micro Controller Unit for thresholds setting, and further signal processing and two vibration transducers to communicate a warning signal to the blind athlete. Among all the components, the antennas represent the most important elements whose design needs to meet specific requirements. In the following, both transmitting and receiving units will be described in detail, paying special attention to the antennas design and realization.

Bottom Line: An example is represented by blind runners who need to be physically linked to a sighted guide by means of non-stretchable tethers during races; with consequent limitations in terms of performance and independence.The system consists of: (1) a mobile unit, which is placed before the runner and generates two "electromagnetic walls" delimiting the way; (2) a receiving unit (worn by the athlete) that provides vibro-tactile warnings every time the user is going outside the safe area so as to encourage him to move toward the central position.The feasibility and the utility of the system proposed are demonstrated by means of tests carried out thanks to the collaboration of a blind volunteer.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, via Brecce Bianche, Ancona 60131, Italy. marco.pieralisi@univpm.it.

ABSTRACT
Nowadays the technologies aimed at improving the quality of life of people affected by visual diseases are quite common; e.g., devices to support walking or reading. Surprisingly, there is a lack of innovative technologies aimed at helping visually impaired athletes during physical activities. An example is represented by blind runners who need to be physically linked to a sighted guide by means of non-stretchable tethers during races; with consequent limitations in terms of performance and independence. This paper wants to investigate the possibility of realizing a system able to guide blind runners along a complex path, paving the way for the realization of an innovative device designed to improve their independence during training or competitions. The system consists of: (1) a mobile unit, which is placed before the runner and generates two "electromagnetic walls" delimiting the way; (2) a receiving unit (worn by the athlete) that provides vibro-tactile warnings every time the user is going outside the safe area so as to encourage him to move toward the central position. The feasibility and the utility of the system proposed are demonstrated by means of tests carried out thanks to the collaboration of a blind volunteer.

Show MeSH