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Assistive Product Blindenstock der Zukunft

Product Type:

Cane for the blind with ultrasonic sensors

Areas of Application:

  • Visual Impairment
  • Blindness


BIRNE7 is a research and development project in the Innovation Lab of the MAD Chair at FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg. During the winter semester 18/19 a group of students developed an assistance system that blind people can take in addition to the blind cane to detect and avoid obstacles especially at chest as well as head height.

Ultrasonic sensors are used to detect objects such as signs, bicycles and other barriers that are in the way. A signal is sent to several vibration motors. The vibration motors, which are installed in a backpack, warn the person of obstacles in the immediate vicinity by vibrating at different frequencies and strengths.

The Chair of Machine Learning and Data Analytics at FAU, located at the Department of Computer Science, conducts application-oriented research in the areas of wearable computing, biomechanical modeling and simulation, human computer interaction and machine learning. In addition, the innovation lab for wearable and ubiquitous computing is located at the department. In this lab, students work in groups in cooperation with companies to develop innovative prototypes in the field of digitization.

The student team has already developed and tested a first prototype. To ensure sustainability, the prototype is validated by people with a visual impairment


BIRNE7 is an acronym that stands for "Accessibility, Inclusion, Reality, Proximity and Results". The 7 comes from the seven founding members. Since February 2018, BIRNE7 is registered as a non-profit association with its headquarters in Erlangen, Germany. The non-profit organization advocates for people with disabilities while developing technical solutions for everyday barriers.

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Henkestr. 91
91052 Erlangen
Germany Email: Homepage:


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Last Update: 5 Apr 2022