Study of Blind Cane Vibration

Dr. Naghshineh and MS-ME graduate student, Aaron Dean, are collaborating with Drs. Dae Kim and Robert Wall Emerson in the WMU Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies, to study the relation between blind cane vibration characteristics and obstacle or drop-off detection. In this study, which is funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the vibration properties of canes with different mass and stiffness  will be measured, then given to blind users who will test their ability to notice a drop-off in their path. Several instrumented canes have also been fabricated in order to measure cane vibration while it is in use for navigation. Identifying the cane characteristics that are most helpful to the user will allow the design of a safer, more reliable blind cane.