Robot Aid for the Visually Impaired (RAVI)
Our project is based on the concept of replacing other methods of navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired. Methods such as using a guide dog are difficult to maintain due to the high cost of training, feeding, and overall care of the dog. Another method such as using a white cane, can sometimes lack helpful functions such as knowing cardinal directions. An intelligent robot guide is our proposed solution to these problems. Our Robot Aid for the Visually Impaired (RAVI) is less expensive, easier to maintain, and a wise alternative to indoor navigation for helping the visually impaired. Our project uses the motion capabilities of the Turtlebot2, a low-cost open-source personal robot with a built-in AI framework and ROS compatibility. In addition, an added 360-degree Lidar and 3D camera enables depth perception and planning for moving people through a room while avoiding obstacles. An included app connects to the robot using Bluetooth and lets the user command the robot where to go with their voice. Finally, Artificial intelligence provides the user with essential information such as upcoming objects or people in their path.