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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.

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(a) The receiving unit worn by the user. It consists of a patch antenna, a metallic box containing the signal processing unit and two vibrational armbands; (b) Picture of signal processing board; (c) Picture of the system in use.
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sensors-15-16466-f014: (a) The receiving unit worn by the user. It consists of a patch antenna, a metallic box containing the signal processing unit and two vibrational armbands; (b) Picture of signal processing board; (c) Picture of the system in use.

Mentions: The system has been tested on increasingly difficult paths set up in an approximately 20 m × 17 m room of an engineering facility. The transmitting system has been placed on a mobile unit, which was manually pulled off and positioned at a safe distance (about 3 m) in front of the athlete who has been equipped with the receiving unit, as shown in Figure 14.


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)

(a) The receiving unit worn by the user. It consists of a patch antenna, a metallic box containing the signal processing unit and two vibrational armbands; (b) Picture of signal processing board; (c) Picture of the system in use.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

sensors-15-16466-f014: (a) The receiving unit worn by the user. It consists of a patch antenna, a metallic box containing the signal processing unit and two vibrational armbands; (b) Picture of signal processing board; (c) Picture of the system in use.
Mentions: The system has been tested on increasingly difficult paths set up in an approximately 20 m × 17 m room of an engineering facility. The transmitting system has been placed on a mobile unit, which was manually pulled off and positioned at a safe distance (about 3 m) in front of the athlete who has been equipped with the receiving unit, as shown in Figure 14.

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