Navigation device created at UofW
By Christina Chibani
A university student and professor created a device that can fit in your shoe to help you move around using acoustic waves and sensors.
The device can help measure the distance from an object to where you are standing and can track an individual’s position in a room. This device can be used for individuals with visual impairment who works in places where it may be hard to see, such as mine workers or firefighters.
Dr. Jalal Ahamed is a University of Windsor assistant engineering professor working with third-year student Joshua Jaekel on the device which will be taken to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Symposium (IEEE).
“We are developing a device for indoor navigation. We use GPS for outdoor navigation but for indoors if you look at your GPS it won’t give you an exact location,” said Dr. Ahamed.
The device will be able to tell the individual exactly where they are inside a building. The device tracks your footsteps, knows how long your footsteps are and what direction they are going in.
“The device has a special sensor that can tell you if you are heading towards barriers or towards a wall,” said Dr. Ahamed.
Jaekel has been working on the application part of the device for one year and Dr. Ahamed has been working on the sensors.
“The device can be used for anyone who wants to track their motion and build a map of their surroundings,” said Jaekel. “Turning the device into an actual product would depend on a company willing to take the technology and bring it to market. Ideally, we don’t want this product to be very expensive. We are trying to market the device mainly for those who are visually impaired.”
Jaekel will be attending the IEEE Inertial Sensors and Systems conference in Hawaii on March 25 to present the sensor and has been getting positive recognition for his work from the public.
“Being a third-year student and being young, it is nice to get recognition for what I am doing,” said Jaekel.
The device is Ahamed and Jaekel’s first project together and is being documented every step of the way.