Robotland Bookstore

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Robotic Car for Blind Driver

Image: NFB 
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the nation, announced that for the first time a blind individual has driven a street vehicle in public without the assistance of a sighted person.  Mark Anthony Riccobono, a blind executive who directs technology, research, and education programs for the organization, was behind the wheel of a Ford Escape hybrid equipped with nonvisual technology and successfully navigated 1.5 miles of the road course section of the famed track at the Daytona International Speedway.

The NFB Blind Driver Challenge™ is a research project of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute—the only research and training facility on blindness operated by the blind.  The Jernigan Institute challenged universities, technology developers, and other interested innovators to establish NFB Blind Driver Challenge™ (BDC) teams, in collaboration with the NFB, to build interface technologies that will empower blind people to drive a car independently.  The purpose of the NFB Blind Driver Challenge™ is to stimulate the development of nonvisual interface technology.  The Virginia Tech/TORC NFB BDC team, under the direction of Dr. Dennis Hong, director of the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory at Virginia Tech., is the only team that has accepted the challenge.  The team uses the ByWire XGV™ developed by TORC technologies as the research platform for the development and testing of the nonvisual interface technologies that allow a blind person to drive.

No comments: