Methods and analysis of a wearable, linear, vibrotactile array to relay motion information for visual sensory substitution
Assistive technology plays an important role in the lives of many individuals. Despite our many advances, a sizable portion of the population has been neglected: individuals with visual impairments. Even though many devices have been proposed or attempted, they have fallen short of gaining main stream use due to a combination of technological limitations. An insufficient understanding of how visual information is transmitted and processed, and inadequate real-time image processing techniques, has made it impossible to create a visual prosthesis viable for use as an assistive technology device. ^ Using the current state of technology, a focus is placed on developing a vibrotactile stimulation device for relaying pertinent visual information, namely information related to motion in the field of view, to a human subject through a linear array of vibrators. Novel to the approach taken is the exploration of motion information extracted in real-time from a head mounted camera as feedback to a user. Additionally, to reduce some of the false information from the computationally efficient algorithm, inertial sensors were examined to address ego-motion artifacts. ^ As a means to assess the feasibility of the design, the components of the device have been analyzed through a series of human subject studies with the goal of determining tunable parameters and system performance. From the first human study, subjects demonstrated an ability to discern motion patterns presented through a linear vibrotactile array of 16 stimulators with spatiotemporal variables based on size, direction, and location. A second study analyzed the head motion of subjects wearing the designed apparatus and illustrated the effectiveness of a windowed threshold in classifying a static or walking activity using inexpensive, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) inertial sensors for acceleration and rotation.^
Engineering, Biomedical|Engineering, Electronics and Electrical
Eugene J Chabot,
"Methods and analysis of a wearable, linear, vibrotactile array to relay motion information for visual sensory substitution"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).