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Directional shoes for the blindNovember 19, 2011

Le-chal from Anirudh's presentation

Sometimes, it is just amazing to see how technology is used to make the world a better place to live for the people less fortunate. One such problem has been thought out and tackled by Anirudh Sharma aka touchaddict on IRC. It is called, le-chal (Translated to ‘take me there’ in Hindi).

Sharma conceptualized and demonstrated the system at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Media Lab Design and Innovation Workshop 2011.

The Le Chal system comprises of a pair of shoes, one of which is fitted with Vibrators, proximity sensors and a Bluetooth pad which is connected to an Android phone that calculates directions and real time location using Google Maps and the phone’s built-in GPS and compass module.

For all the people calling arduino a ‘toy’ and ‘too-simple’ here is a fact. This idea was prototyped in 6 days. The simplicity gave the inventors an option of diversity.

As per his presentation, the system costs barely a few hundred rupees to assemble with 8 mini vibrational motors costing Rs 90, a sole of specified dimensions, an Arduino Lilypad GSM+GPS shield custom made for Rs 400 or a wired version costing Rs 150 for all the components.

The shoes have also been tested at a Bangalore based blind school and has received positive reviews from everyone.

Via: Arduino Blog, Source: Medianama and Pixelonomics

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