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  • Chris McMillan

This AI suitcase could help visually-impaired people to travel

The Next Web

25th February 2020

This AI suitcase could help visually-impaired people to travel

The navigation device is being developed in Japan

By Thomas Macaulay

A group of Japanese companies is developing a suitcase-shaped robot that uses AI to help visually-impaired people to travel independently.

The small navigation robot will scan the user’s location and map data to identify the best route to their destination. It will then guide them there through voice and haptic technology that transmits vibrations transmitted through the suitcase handle.

While they travel, the suitcase will analyze data from video cameras and distance sensors to identify and avoid any obstacles that emerge in their path, and assess whether the behavior of people nearby requires the user to take actions such as joining lines.

It will also include an interactive conversational feature that can notify users if a friend is approaching or if there stores nearby where they may want to shop.

Chieko Asakawa, an IBM Japan fellow who has vision problems, came up with the idea when she was pushing a suitcase during a business trip, according to the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese national newspaper.


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