WALKASSIST is a shoe with integrated electronic obstacle detection that can improve the quality of life of blind, visually impaired and motor-impaired people. Innovative sensors alert the user to obstacles, such as steps, curbs, hydrants or other people, using audio, visual or vibration signals.
Audio and visual feedback provided through an external module/ obstacle detection through innovative sensors/ vibration feedback through the shoe/ integrated electronic components and energy supply
The system can be used in daily life, and it can serve as a substitute for a white cane, guide dog or other mobility aids. WALKASSIST is set to only detect relevant obstacles and to ignore irrelevant ones, such as the floor under the user’s feet or an object in front of which the user is standing still, e.g. a cupboard. This makes it possible to eliminate sources of error. Users also have the possibility to adjust the intensity or range of the obstacle detection. They can also make other adjustments in order to adapt the feedback to the conditions in their surroundings, for example by switching it off completely or adjusting the volume. This makes sure that the shoe can be adapted to the individual user’s needs.
– The path to optimizing functionality
In order to ensure the proper functioning of the device, we have carried out some research. The gait analysis
laboratory of the Speising Orthopedic Hospital– IMG_0109 helped us to calculate the average gait of a blind person. The test participants, who were walking up and down the laboratory, were filmed from different angles by approximately 20 cameras. In addition, the floor of the laboratory was equipped with sensors that tracked the weight shifts that occur while walking.
This cooperation has enabled us to take the gait analysis results into account when it came to designing the perfect shoe and deciding which part of the shoe the different components of the system should best be fitted into.
To get more detailed information, a shoe last was produced and discussed with Dr. A. Kranzl of the Speising Hospital laboratory regarding its incline, flexibility and stability.
A big thank you for your support.
(from left to right assistant, Sami Demirel, CEO Kevin Pajestka, Erich Schmid,
Dr. Andreas Kranzl – head of the Speising gait analysis laboratory)
Recording of gait analysis with Sami Demirel