Indo-American boy comes up with useful invention for visually impaired

Published on May 14, 2015 16:46:46 PM
Looking at the hardships faced by the people who have lost their sight, a 13-year-old Indian-American seventh-grader has built a device to help them.

The talented boy from San Jose, California has bagged a $5,000 award and has been named as one among America's top 10 youth volunteers of 2015 for designing and building the device to help visually impaired people. He is one of 10 young Americans selected in the 2015 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards programme for national recognition based on their outstanding achievements in community service.

The device uses sensors to detect objects beyond the reach of the white canes used by many blind people. Ganesh got the idea after looking at a video which was about the challenges faced by those with limited or no eyesight.

"I saw how, despite being used for several centuries, the white cane does not provide users enough information about their environment," he said. He also stated that, many Hi-Tech devices are not meeting the needs of blind people.

 Just through the hobby of toy building and enjoying electronics, the young boy decided to design something to help people who are visually impaired.

He sought advice from the head of a local blind center, and over the next several months made five major revisions based on feedback from blind center staff and actual cane users.
He developed a device that clamps onto the cane, uses ultrasonic and infrared sensors to detect obstacles more than six feet beyond the end of the cane, and communicates this information to the user through vibrations in the cane's handle.

Ganesh has been permited to create multiple copies, and hopes to develop an open patent so that organisations for the blind around the world can make the device for their clients.