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College students develop cheaper obstacle detector for the blind

Updated: Jul 13,2018 4:28 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Students from China’s Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics have developed an obstacle detector for the blind with much lower cost, Science and Technology Daily reported on July 13.

The initial cost of the obstacle detector is 30 yuan ($4.5), according to the newspaper.

Domestic enterprises currently manufacture devices for visual impairments. Equipped with cameras, such devices range from 3,000 to 8,000 yuan.

The detector is composed of a single chip and two ultrasonic sensors which can distinguish and measure obstacles and roadblocks in front of it. By holding the device in the palm of their hand, blind people can traverse the road more easily as the device will make a sound when there are obstacles ahead.

“The alarm rings once when a person comes within one meter of an obstacle,” developer Ma Wang was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “The alarm rings twice when the person is within 60 cm, three times at 30 cm”

The detector has not been industrialized. Ma Wang said his team would make it more portable and stable as well as smaller and more accurate at detecting objects.

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