Indoor Inertial Waypoint Navigation for the Blind
Indoor navigation technology is needed to support seamless mobility for the visually impaired. This paper describes the construction and evaluation of an inertial dead reckoning navigation system that provides real-time auditory guidance along mapped routes. Inertial dead reckoning is a navigation technique coupling step counting together with heading estimation to compute changes in position at each step. The research described here outlines the development and evaluation of a novel navigation system that utilizes information from the mapped route to limit the problematic error accumulation inherent in traditional dead reckoning approaches. The prototype system consists of a wireless inertial sensor unit, placed at the users’ hip, which streams readings to a smartphone processing a navigation algorithm. Pilot human trials were conducted assessing system efficacy by studying route-following performance with blind and sighted subjects using the navigation system with real-time guidance, versus offline verbal directions.
Riehle, T. H., Anderson, S. M., Lichter, P. A., Whalen, W.E., & Giudice, Indoor Inertial Waypoint Navigation for the Blind. Proceedings of the 35th annual IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC’12, Vol. 2013), 2013.