Robotic Dog To Guide The Blind!
American researchers have developed a fully autonomous robot dog that can guide the blind around obstacles and in confined spaces. According to the scientists, such canine in the future could be a robotic alternative to traditional guide dogs for the visually impaired, reports ETX Studio.
The report said researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States have built the robot that is fully autonomous in an urban environment. Developed on innovative technologies, the new invention can lead a visually impaired human holding its leash.
How The Robot Works :
Unlike previous robots for the blind, this latest prototype can navigate around obstacles and cope with confined spaces, says the report.
To perceive surroundings, the robot is equipped with a system of range-finding lasers. It also has a rotating camera that follows its visually impaired master or mistress to determine their position.
In practice, the device functions like a GPS navigation aid, which a user programs with a point of departure and a destination. Thereafter the robot calculates the distance it needs to cover as well as its future movements.
While on the road, it continues to adapt its behavior to take into account the location and trajectory of the person being guided.
What about the Price?
As per the report, the new robot dog is currently very expensive to produce, but the researchers hope that it will soon become an affordable device.
Robotic guide dogs also have a key advantage over real-life canines as one of the researchers, Li Zhongyu states, ‘with the help of a robot guide dog, we can transfer our code directly from one robot to another. In contrast to training for traditional guide dogs, which is costly and time consuming, the behavior of robot dogs can be instantly improved by updating their programming.’
The research team also plans to make it possible to synchronize the robot dog with navigation software on smartphones and computers.
Of that point, he researcher said, ‘our robot dog has a way of intelligence about navigation, from point A to point B,’ adding ‘a real dog knows nothing about navigating. This is an advantage of our dog.’