A student from Loughborough University has designed a robotic guide dog for visually impaired people who are unable to home or have a real animal.
Recreating the role of a guide dog alongside programming quick and safe routes to destinations using real time data, the invention could be the future for visually impaired people.
The product, designed by Anthony Camu, was inspired by virtual-reality (VR) gaming consoles to create a prototype, named Theia after the titan goddess of sight.
“Theia has the capacity to expand a blind person’s comfort zones and possibilities, broaden their horizons and allow them to think less about walking and more about what’s waiting for them at the end of the route,” commented Camu.
“The ultimate goal is that Theia’s users can traverse routes safely and efficiently, at the same pace as, or even faster than, ordinary people, without the worry and hassle of visualising the environment.”
In a bid to promote further independence amongst the visually impaired community, Theia is a concealable, portable handheld device.
Designed to guide users through outdoor environments and in large indoor spaces with very little input. Theia uses a special control moment gyroscope (CMG), which physically ‘leads’ users – much like a traditional guide dog would lead their owner.
Processing real-time online date, including the weather and traffic density for both vehicles and pedestrians, users are expected to be guided accurately and safely to their final destinations.