Birzeit Students Develop a Vision System for the Blind

Three students from the Birzeit University Department of Computer Systems Engineering developed a vision system for the blind that provides them with the opportunity to live a more normal life and move smoothly like the sighted. The students developed another system that broadcasts their location, if they are in danger. These inventions were produced under a graduation project entitled "Be Safe."

The first system detects and defines obstacles through a small video camera worn by the blind that then transforms the visual object into spoken language.

One of the students said that work on the project took an entire year because it was difficult to make the camera operate using computer vision techniques and then convert the information into more useful information than is provided in other ways, and then connect the camera to a voice system that directs the blind person.

Another student explained that the system has three components: a camera worn by the blind person, a video processor and a sound source. The camera captures the barriers, and sends the picture to the video processor to be identified, and then to the sounds source to produce warnings that help the blind person adapt to the obstacles and avoid them.

A third student designed an application for smart phones, allowing the blind to use it to inform friends and family of their whereabouts in case of emergencies, using  GPS technology.

A video demonstration of the project can be viewed here