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Title: TUGS – The tactile user guidance system
Authors: Gustafson-Pearce, O
Billett, EH
Cecelja, F
Keywords: Navigation aid;Tactile interface;Blind;Visually impaired
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Royal College of Art
Citation: Include 2005 conference, The Royal College of Art, London, 2005
Abstract: The Electronic System and Information Technology Research Group at Brunel University has designed a multifaceted navigation system for blind and visually impaired pedestrians. The primary operation of the system mimics the advantages of an informed sighted guide by using Global Positioning Systems and remote (sighted on the user) video cameras as navigational sensors. The information generated is streamed to a central control centre. This allows the system to operate in a fully automatic or operator assisted mode dependent on the users requirements. Initially the system used an audio link to transfer information to the user, however this has proved problematic. Clear unimpeded access to ambient sound is vital for visually impaired and blind pedestrians, both for efficient wayfinding and safety. Any system which has a continuing dialogue with the user, for example, navigational instructions received through an audio link, interferes with the users ability to process ambient sounds. To solve this problem a novel Tactile User Guidance System (TUGS) with vibrating actuators, has been designed and experimentally tested. In this paper we present the design and experimental verification of TUGS with both visually impaired and sighted users. Although we have taken the visually impaired user as the ‘worst case scenario’ a practical ability to transfer information through the tactile sense has considerable value to other groups who may find themselves in restricted or overloaded visual or audio situations. These groups include; front line responders in the emergency services, railroad workers, pilots and remote vehicle operators.
Appears in Collections:Design
Brunel Design School Research Papers

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