Nowadays the technologies aimed at improving the quality of life of people affected by visual diseases are quite common; e.g., devices to support walking or reading. Surprisingly; there is a lack of innovative technologies aimed at helping visually impaired athletes during physical activities. An example is represented by blind runners who need to be physically linked to a sighted guide by means of non-stretchable tethers during races; with consequent limitations in terms of performance and independence. This paper wants to investigate the possibility of realizing a system able to guide blind runners along a complex path; paving the way for the realization of an innovative device designed to improve their independence during training or competitions. The system consists of: (1) A mobile unit; which is placed before the runner and generates two “electromagnetic walls” delimiting the way; (2) a receiving unit (worn by the athlete) that provides vibro-tactile warnings every time the user is going outside the safe area so as to encourage him to move toward the central position. The feasibility and the utility of the system proposed are demonstrated by means of tests carried out thanks to the collaboration of a blind volunteer.

Design and Realization of an Electromagnetic Guiding System for Blind Running Athletes

PIERALISI, MARCO;PETRINI, VALERIO;DI MATTIA, VALENTINA;MANFREDI, GIOVANNI;DE LEO, ALFREDO;SCALISE, Lorenzo;RUSSO, Paola;CERRI, GRAZIANO
2015-01-01

Abstract

Nowadays the technologies aimed at improving the quality of life of people affected by visual diseases are quite common; e.g., devices to support walking or reading. Surprisingly; there is a lack of innovative technologies aimed at helping visually impaired athletes during physical activities. An example is represented by blind runners who need to be physically linked to a sighted guide by means of non-stretchable tethers during races; with consequent limitations in terms of performance and independence. This paper wants to investigate the possibility of realizing a system able to guide blind runners along a complex path; paving the way for the realization of an innovative device designed to improve their independence during training or competitions. The system consists of: (1) A mobile unit; which is placed before the runner and generates two “electromagnetic walls” delimiting the way; (2) a receiving unit (worn by the athlete) that provides vibro-tactile warnings every time the user is going outside the safe area so as to encourage him to move toward the central position. The feasibility and the utility of the system proposed are demonstrated by means of tests carried out thanks to the collaboration of a blind volunteer.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/227312
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