Sunday, February 25, 2024

ROSHNI – Indoor Navigation System For Visually Impaired

A team of students from department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT New Delhi has worked to beat disability and come up with a cell phone based indoor navigation system for visually impaired people. -- Pankaj Vashisht

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Roshii, is a user centric system which conveys the position to users as and when they want, making the building entirely transparent to the user, provided that map is installed in the mobile phone application and thus, giving complete independence to the visually impaired without any need of any external sighted assistance. Use of low cost IR sensor technology makes this system affordable for any moderate user in a developing country.

Any such system is unsuccessful untill the users believe it is useful for day to day living. Roshni, was tested with nearly 25 visually impaired persons over a period of 1.5 years and gained the trust of the users. They believed Roshni gives them confidence and expressed their willingness to use the device as a future product. Amit, one of the users said, “The device accurately conveys the navigational instructions, especially 1-2 meters before taking a turn. It warns me even when I do not follow the instructions and take a wrong turn. Initially, I got lost and took a long time to reach the destination. When introduced to the device, I was very optimistic. I gained confidence with the system during training and was able to easily reach the destination.”

Most of the users were comfortable with the user interface of the application and appreciated its features. Neha said, “Audible Indicator (buzzer on destinations) is a great feature. This helps me not to enter the wrong room or collide with obstacles. Also, pinpointing the location of doors is easier”. Raj, appreciated the audio message delivery of the application. Raj said,“Since the literacy rate is quite low in developing countries, the speech input can make the device universal to work with. The mobile application is user-friendly and the touch input is easy to learn.” Ritu added, “I feel aware of the surroundings just like someone is speaking to me.”

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Roshni has got many recognitions and awards. Speaking about the awards and recognitions, Abhinav says, “Roshni has brought laurels to us. It has been awarded various awards in almost every field.
• It has been published at various places and has been recognized by the media.”
• Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled People (TRANSED 2012).
• Best Poster Award, in the Poster Presentation at 4th IBM Collaborative Academia Research Exchange (I-CARE 2012) held in Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, India
• Best project in the institute across all departments and disciplines, IIT Delhi, IIT Delhi Alumini Award with a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh Winners in Eureka Paper Presentation, Techkriti, IIT Kanpur’s Technical Festival, 2013 [National Award] Project Incubation award in India Innovation Initiative 2013 [National Award] Wide media recognition in Deccan Herald, Hindustan Times, Times of India etc.

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The Future
Speaking about the future, Dhruv said, “As of now, we are in the final development stages and our prototypes have improved a lot over these 2 years. Recent testing of the new prototypes with visually impaired users in IIT, Delhi has been very positive and encouraging.”

“We are currently improving the modules and also pilot testing our system at National Science Center, Pragati Madan, New Delhi. Our pilot tests are expected to finish by March 2014 following which we will start the full system installations. Our primary target would be the visually impaired users in India and secondary would be the sighted users. We will start our tests from public buildings and museums in Delhi and continue from there with constant improvements in the design”, he added.

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Dhruv Jain, Research Associate, IIT Delhi & Research Intern, Microsoft Research, India

Abhinav Saksena, Research Intern, IIT Delhi

Akash Gautam, Research Intern, IIT Delhi

Nikita Gupta, Masters student, IIT delhi

Shiveesh Fotedar, Intern designer, IIT Delhi




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