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ELECTROMAGNETIC SYSTEM FOR AUTONOMOUS PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OF BLIND OR VISUALLY-IMPAIRED ATHLETES

Biomedical equipmentsElectromagnetic sensorsElectronic Travel AidsVisually-impaired subjects

Introduction

The invention provides an electromagnetic system for independent physical activity of blind or visually-impaired athletes that is efficient, effective, reliable, practical and easy to use.

The system allows the athlete to reach total independence without the need of a driving athlete. It makes it possible for the user to be active independently, be it  running or cycling at higher speeds when compared to a person walking slowly. Moreover it guarantees the safety of the visually-impaired person over a long track that may have to be repeated many times due to competition or training.

Technical features

Current mobility aids of visually impaired or blind people detect the presence of objects and / or obstacles in the volume explored by the sensor, but they seem to be still in the experimental phase in order to be used with sufficient reliability and safety in a sports context. This device allows blind athletes to reach independence from a driving athlete during a training session.

The device consists of a fixed transmitting subsystem, consisting of two electrical cables arranged on the sides of a predetermined path, and a receiving subsystem worn by the athlete in belts, caps, jackets, etc., which can embed other sensors such as cardiac or temperature ones. The transmitting system generates two electromagnetic “barriers”: when the athlete approaches one of the two “walls”, which constitute the perimeter of the competition path, the receiving system worn by the athlete signals the proximity of the lane/path limit, allowing to correct the direction and re-enter the central area of the course.

Possible Applications

  • Company producing aid systems for blind or visually impaired subjects;
  • Sports clubs.

Advantages

  • Simple, effective and practical system;
  • It allows running and cycling activities, not just walking;
  • It makes it possible activities on a long route (e.g. 400m athletics track).