Imperial College London

Smart baby buggy for the visually impaired

Sight-impaired people could have an easier and safer way to get around with their children and young family after Imperial College London students joined forces with local resident Ramona Williams to develop a 'smart baby buggy'. After Ramona, who has a sight impairment, explained to students how it is very difficult for her to use a cane and push a buggy at the same time, bioengineering students designed a potential solution by applying special sensors to a baby buggy. Technology developed for self-driving cars, combined with ultrasound sensors, warns the buggy’s user about moving vehicles, pedestrians, curbs and drop-offs through vibrations in the handlebar.

Additionally, a smartphone app has been designed by the students to identify further hazards and road features. Users simply need to install the app on their smartphone and then put it into a special holder on the base of the buggy. The app uses the smartphone’s camera to recognise vehicles, humans, plus landmarks such as signs, braille bumps and corners and tells the user through their headphones. Additionally, the buggy has a bracket for holding the user’s cane, and a bright yellow 'visually impaired parent' sign on its front to alert oncoming traffic and people.

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