Pakistani students have developed a smart cane called the ‘Blind Man Stick’.
This isn’t just some ordinary walking stick. The stick allows a blind person to navigate their walk. If the stick perceives an obstacle, it vibrates or makes a sound to indicate the obstacle to the person using it.
The idea behind the electronic device is to help people with visual disabilities carry out day-to-day tasks without relying on others.
The average Pakistani cannot afford most electrical low vision devices, which cost near to $400. In an article published by the National Incubation Centre (NIC), the startup behind the innovation – Ayub Yaqoob Engineering Group (AYECo) – plans to create a model of the smart cane that won’t sell for more than $50, which is around Rs6,900.
The NIC Lahore is a first of its kind incubation and acceleration platform, launched under the public-private partnership of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, IGNITE, Fatima Ventures and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
The start-up perfected the first prototype after several tries. According to the article, the first prototype was not fold-able and demonstrated difficult vibration pattern. The second was modified and made a compact remote with the electronic circuitry embedded in it. In this way, Smart Cane became a fold-able device.
The cane has a rechargeable battery. AYECo aims to connect the smart walking stick with smartphones and make the design more compact.
AYECo first came in the public eye last year when an electrical engineering student at LUMS, who is part of AYECo, designed an automated wheelchair – the first of its kind in the world – which is controlled by a smartphone and voice command.
Faaiz Arbab, a student of MS electrical engineering at LUMS, designed ‘GOBEE’ to assist the physically challenged people through smart technologies integrated into the wheelchair.
GOBEE can connect to any smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFii allowing its user to control it even if they are 100 feet away from the wheelchair.