Vision for the Seeing Impaired


  • Guided Navigation and Obstacle Avoidance
  • Social Interaction Support
  • Object Localization
  • Acoustic and Haptic Interfaces
Selected Publications
Author Title Source

T. Wörtwein, B. Schauerte, K. Mueller, R. Stiefelhagen

International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI), Seattle, Washington, USA, November, 2015

B. Schauerte, M. Martinez, A. Constantinescu, R. Stiefelhagen

International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP), Linz, Austria, July, 2012

B. Schauerte, D. Koester, M. Martinez, R. Stiefelhagen

ECCV Workshop on Assistive Computer Vision and Robotics (ACVR), Zurich, Switzerland, September, 2014

B. Schauerte, T. Wörtwein, R. Stiefelhagen

Accessible Interaction for Visually Impaired People (AI4VIP), Stuttgart, Germany, September, 2015

D. Koester, B. Schauerte, R. Stiefelhagen

 IEEE Workshop on Multimodal and Alternative Perception for Visually Impaired People (MAP4VIP ) In Conjunction with ICME 2013  (pdf |bib )

Guided Navigation and Obstacle Avoidance


We develop a mobility and navigational aid system for visually impaired persons, i.e. blind persons or persons with low vision. The system should enable visually impaired persons to navigate safely in an unknown terrain. It uses computer vision methods to detect landmarks, obstacles and free ground surface in front of the user. Acoustic as well as haptic interfaces (e.g. vibrating elements) are used to give information to the user. We have already created a prototype to this end and develop the system in a user-centered way, which is made possible by our tight cooperation with KIT’s support center for visually impaired students (SZS).

In the long term, we wish to allow visually impaired people to move around and to find their way safely on their own in a new environment, such as an unknown city or any other urban or rural environment. In the short term, our goal is to build a mobile system that helps visually impaired students to safely explore our university campus.

Our goal is to build a mobile assistive system to support the mobility of visually impaired people in various ways:
* provide general orientation and navigation information (like existing GPS navigation systems),
* warn user before obstacles, both on the ground as well as high/low hanging obstacles,
* plan a route beforehand, i.e., before a user can reach it with the white cane, with respect to the current situation, e.g., detect accessible section and obstacles along the path,
* provide additional information about "the scene", e.g., type of intersection, walkway, people or cyclists approaching or oncoming traffic,
* create situation specific "modules", e.g., crossing an inaccessible road intersection (button location, traffic light detection, anti-veering), help with zebra crossings, locating building entries and many others.