Penn Students Use XBox Kinect To Create Device For Visually Impaired

r5lq7rt1 Students Hack Microsofts Kinect to Assist the Visually Impaired Two computer science students from the University of Pennsylvania, Eric Berdinis and Jeff Kiske, have hacked together a very impressive tactile feedback system for the visually impaired using a Microsoft Kinect device and a number of vibration actuators. The Kinecthesia is a belt worn camera system that detects the location and depth of objects in front of the wearer using depth information detected by the Kinect sensor. This information is processed on a BeagleBoard open computer platform and then used to drive six vibration motors located to the left, center and right of the user. The video below shows a demo of the system in use and gives a quick explanation of its operation.

The students came up with the idea for the Kinecthesia when they were asked to develop a medical device for their embedded systems class.

3ybn0xws Students Hack Microsofts Kinect to Assist the Visually Impaired

To date the project has been well received at Google’s Zeitgeist Young Minds conference and is gaining a quite a bit of interest.

The inventors are planning to refine the hardware and carry out end-user testing on the visually impaired community in the coming months.  We’re interested in knowing whether the ticklish blind will have a more exciting time using the system.

Penn press release…

Project homepage…

BeagleBoard.org