Active Vision with Human-in-the-Loop for the Visually Impaired

A VIIHM Sponsored Academic Exchange

Active Vision with Human-in-the-Loop for the Visually Impaired

From the 15th of January to the 12th of February, 2017 Mr Jacobus Lock went to The University of Bristol as part of a research visit. He was attached to the University of Bristol’s School of Experimental Psychology and worked with Professor Iain Gilchrest.

Mr Lock’s PhD project is committed to making an indoor navigation system for the visually impaired and the goal of current phase of the project is to find a way to convey navigation instructions and the location of the target to the user without using visual cues, instead focusing on sound and vibration. For this phase it is important to understand how humans perceive the sound instructions we present them to determine the efficacy of the method.

The focus of the visit was to further our understanding of how people perceive instructions to look at a virtual target in space. These instructions are given ion the form of spatialised tones with variable pitch. We felt that  the University of Bristol’s expertise in human vision and in particular Prof. Gilchrest’s expertise in human vision perception and behaviour would be very helpful in designing an experiment.

The experiment that was planned consisted of 4 tests: the first three were baseline tests to determine the subject’s tone limit and sensitivity and his/her audio localisation capabilities. The last test was the main one where we asked the blindfolded subject to point a tablet device’s camera toward a virtual target in space, the location of which was given to the subject in the form of a spatialised tone with varying pitch. The experiments were successfully carried out with 40 subjects which gave a large amount of good data which will be invaluable to my research.

All of the visits objectives we drew up were met and the experiments were carried out successfully. We have also made contact with a research department and team from another University and it is my hope that this new relationship will yield more successful collaborations and research outcomes in the future.