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Open AccessArticle

Assisting Visually Impaired People in the Public Transport System through RF-Communication and Embedded Systems

1
Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, El Dorado, Panama City 0819-07289, Panama
2
Centro de Estudios Multidisciplinarios en Ciencias, Ingeniería y Tecnología-AIP (CEMCIT-AIP), Panama City 0819, Panama
3
Centre for Automation and Robotics CSIC-UPM, 28500 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in: Montes, H.; Chang, I.; Carballeda, G.; Muõz, J.; García, A.; Vejarano, R.; Sáez, Y. Design of a System to Support the Mobility of Visually Impaired People. In Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR 2018), Panama City, Panama, 10–12 September 2018.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sensors 2019, 19(6), 1282; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19061282
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
For a significant number of people with visual impairments, public transport plays an important role in productivity, community participation, and independence, since it may be the only feasible mobility option to participate in their education, work, medical care, food, and to attend many other places in their community. To use the public bus system safely, effectively, and autonomously, these people need to collect information about their physical environment and visible information at stops and terminals, such as timetables, routes, etc. Unfortunately, most people who are blind or visually impaired experience difficulties in getting on the right bus or getting off at the right destination. These situations usually force them to depend on other people that assist them in activities close to their homes, or settle for simpler jobs, or simply stay at home. Therefore, our efforts should aim to develop a system where technology is used to empower people with visual disabilities, allowing them to navigate autonomously in the public transport system. This paper presents a system based on radio frequency (RF) communication proposed within the framework of the MOVIDIS (Mobility for Visually Disabled People) research project (funded by the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation-SENACYT, under Grants No. 109-2015-4-FID14-073 and No. 99-2018-4-FID17-031), which provides an alternative to assist people with visual disabilities with their mobility in the public transport system. The various modules of this system communicate with each other by means of radio frequency and allow users to interact with buses and their respective stops. The first experimental results show that RF communication represents a viable option to help people with visual disabilities in public transport services. View Full-Text
Keywords: communication; embedded systems, mobility; MOVIDIS project; public transport; radiofrequency; visually impaired people communication; embedded systems, mobility; MOVIDIS project; public transport; radiofrequency; visually impaired people
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Sáez, Y.; Muñoz, J.; Canto, F.; García, A.; Montes, H. Assisting Visually Impaired People in the Public Transport System through RF-Communication and Embedded Systems . Sensors 2019, 19, 1282.

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