Visakhapatnam lad designs shoe to guide the blind


Visakhapatnam lad designs shoe to guide the blind

Soon, the visually impaired will be able to walk with more ease and “see” the road ahead of them, with a third-year industrial engineering student of Gitam University inventing a shoe with an embedded electronic circuit that senses the existence of obstacles in the path. 

The student, Krishna Sai Inkoolu, has applied for a patent for the shoe with an electronic circuit that will help the visually impaired people walk by sensing obstacles up to three meters away. 

“Whenever there is an object in front of the person, a sensor that is part of the embedded circuit in the shoe triggers an electrical signal that is routed to a small motor. The motor is connected to a small moveable stick near the ankle. The stick transmits impulses to the ankle, alerting the person that he is about to face an obstacle,” Krishna Sai told TOI. 

“The motor in the shoe is recharged automatically when the person starts walking. So there is no need to keep changing batteries for the motor,” said the engineering student. Also, the design is such that it would not be damaged by water. “It’s fabricated in such a manner that it will be unaffected by water falling on the circuit,” he said. “The basic model will cost Rs 700 to Rs 800, so it is quite affordable,” he added. 

Products such as smart phone apps and actuators developed earlier have failed to make an impact as all sections of society cannot afford them. “I got the idea when I was working on a project to use a rechargeable battery. I thought that the project could be extended a bit further. I then developed the shoe so that it can help thousands of people,” Sai said. District Blindness Control Society member secretary Dr P Krishna Prasad observed that there are no similar products available for the visually impaired and said that some research is still going on related to the ‘Bionic Eye‘, which takes pictures and sends images to the brain. “However, it is still not available in India,” he said. 

 

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