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Wearable Hearing Assist System to Provide Hearing-Dog Functionality

College of Industrial Technology, Nihon University, 1-2-1 Izumi-Cho, Narashino 275-8575, Japan
This paper is an extended version of Shimoyama, R.; Syou, I. Wearable Hearing Support System Tapping toward Sound Source. In Proceedings of the 26 International Conference on Robotics in Alpes-Adria-Danube Region (RAAD), Torino, Italy, 21–23 June 2017.
Robotics 2019, 8(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8030049
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 26 June 2019
This study developed a wearable hearing-assist system that can identify the direction of a sound source while using short-term interaural time differences (ITDs) of sound pressure and convey the sound source direction to a hearing-impaired person via vibrators that are attached to his or her shoulders. This system, which is equipped with two microphones, could dynamically detect and convey the direction of front, side, and even rear sound sources. A male subject was able to turn his head toward continuous or intermittent sound sources within approximately 2.8 s when wearing the developed system. The sound source direction is probably overestimated when the interval between the two ears is smaller. When the subject can utilize vision, this may help in tracking the location of the target sound source, especially if the target comes into view, and it may shorten the tracking period. View Full-Text
Keywords: wearable warning system; hearing-assist; haptic interface; directional notification; sound source; field-programmable gate array; auditory system; human-robot interaction; front/back confusion wearable warning system; hearing-assist; haptic interface; directional notification; sound source; field-programmable gate array; auditory system; human-robot interaction; front/back confusion
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Shimoyama, R. Wearable Hearing Assist System to Provide Hearing-Dog Functionality. Robotics 2019, 8, 49.

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