Imagine for a moment that you could hold a guide dog’s leash and feel the tug in the right direction, or notification to halt, all without having to care for a dog? That’s effectively what Blindbot produces.
Born out of Makerspace ETH Zurich, the Blindbot is a project that uses optical recognition to guide folks that have vision impairments. As you can see in the video, it has some impressive path detection going on. There is also other feedback such as sounds and vibrations in your hand to notify you of obstacles or doors.
Technical details are a little sparse, but the project seems to be quite effective at a few tasks. While I suspect many would prefer a dog, it seems there would also be a decent population who don’t want to deal with an animal.
The Makerspace that this project came out of was started in 2016 at the University ETH Zurich. It services 20,000 students and is run by 80 volunteers. If you’d like to learn more about the space, you can find more information on their website.