2020 Vision: Wearable Haptic Ultrasonic Object Detector; The Efficacy and Acceptability of Assistive Devices for the Visually Impaired

Arabit, Joshua, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

A successful assistive device must not only work in the lab; it must be adopted by
its intended users.
A capstone team, 2020 Vision, contributed to the design, development, and
production of a wearable device that improves the user’s situational awareness. The
device communicates with the user through a haptic feedback system and an ultrasonic
sensor, protecting the wearer from incoming objects. We conducted cost and production
analyses to ensure a low-cost system that can be marketed to a wide range of users. The
team shipped a working prototype of the device, contributing to efforts to develop low
cost, wearable assistive devices for the visually impaired.
To succeed, an assistive device must be accepted by its intended users. Deterrents
include complexity, incompatibility with external systems, and social stigma. Efforts to
serve the needs of disabled persons must identify and integrate social and technical
I would like to thank the members of 2020 Vision: Jazlene Guevarra, Renée
Mitchell and Bill Zhang, and our technical capstone consultant Kevin Dela Merced, for a
successful and joyful journey into electrical and computer engineering.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Impaired Vision, Wearable Object Detector, Ultrasonic , Efficacy and Acceptability, Blind

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
Technical Advisor: Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Peter Norton
Technical Team Members: Jazlene Guevarra, Renée
Mitchell, Bill Zhang

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