Back in March, we saw a project using a head-mounted Kinect to sense and alert the user to obstacles in their path. Researchers at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden are working on a similar system, but building it into a wheelchair.
It was tested this week by a grad student hopeful who is himself visually impaired, and he pronounced it solid. The system looks quite bulky, however, and is limited to detecting objects within a narrow plane, so it wouldn’t pick up, say, a curb or overhang.
Still, it’s interesting research, and could be the start of a new kind of intelligent wheelchair that could let blind and partially sighted people get around their neighborhoods a bit easier.