Skip navigation
B. Tools to Help the Blind Find Their Way in New Environments

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz are using their knowledge of computer vision in robotics to develop a variety of systems to help the blind. Computer engineer Roberto Manduchi says his lab has identified and developed a number of technological tools.

Manduchi: For example, one of the systems that we are working is a system that would allow a blind person in a new environment to find their way. Systems out there that do optical character recognition are not very robust yet, so we don't have yet a computer that can read any signs it sees in the scene.

Narrator: Instead, Manduchi's lab developed a simple system using economical color targets paired with a camera cell phone system.

Manduchi: The system simply can see and detect where these color targets are in the scene, so you can put a little bar code, for example, below the color target and you will be able to have a label of a certain point of space, a cell phone can have a database and understand if it sees this label, I am in a certain location where I want to go.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.