Student invents AI-based smart stick ‘Netra’
According to a report by the World Health Organization, there are currently 28.5 Crore people in the world who are visually impaired. Among those, 3.90 Crore people are blind whereas as 24.60 Crore people are living with low vision or visual impairment of some kind.
In India, there are as many as 1.20 Crore blind people, which means that around one-third of world’s blind population lives in India or every third blind person on this planet, lives in India. To help this visually-challenged populace, Chandigarh University’s student Lovelesh Dutt has developed a smart stick or cane which helps them with their day-to-day activities, ensuring that their visual impairment doesn’t hamper them from living a life of joy.
Aptly named ‘Netra’, this smart cane is a smart device developed and based on Artificial Intelligence, and not only just as a guide but a protector for the blinds, thus making them self-reliant in ways more than one as it has sensors to sense obstacles, GPS navigation system, SOS alert, inbuilt taser among others. Lovelesh, who hails from Haryana and is currently a student of MBA in Chandigarh University, explains the working of the cane, “Based on Artificial Intelligence, the smart cane has a number of features.
For example, if any kind of object or animal or even human comes in the way of the user, then the Smart Stick will generate beep sound, besides producing vibration, making the user aware of the object coming in front of them.” Dutt informs that the AI-based smart stick is connected to the GPS navigation system, which provides information about the location of the user to their family.
Besides, the device draws its power from sun with the help of solar panel mounted on it, thus removing the hassle of charging it. “The device has an emergency SOS alert feature inbuilt. A SIM card can be inserted inside a slot in the smart cane and the user can set the number of family members or police. In case of any emergency, the user can press the button on the cane, which will automatically send an SOS alert to the police and family members along with the location of the user. Also, if anyone tries to harm the user, the inbuilt taser at the bottom of the stick will give a shock of 400 kV to the offender, which will enable the blind person to protect themselves,” he says.
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