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New device could change how people navigate

A new revolutionary gadget is being designed in Australia for people who are blind and vision impaired. It  uses lasers to detect non protruding obstacles in a user’s path.

Australian engineers have developed a new electronic device that can identify the  obstacles the white canes can’t pick up. The prototype developed in Melbourne uses a series of cameras and lasers to scan the ground and would be able to detect dents, dips and drop-offs in the surrounding area. The person who is blind or vision impaired is then warned of its proximity by an auditory or vibrating alert that is sent to the user. Associate Professor Wong from Melbourne University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering department has a professional as well as a personal drive to develop this new technology. Her nine year old son is vision impaired. Professor Wong stated ” for me as an engineer, the aim is always to do something impactful and significant – the nature of my research is that you ought to look 20years ahead. But I wanted to do something that is tangible and have a real impact.”

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