A Kinect Based Indoor Navigation System for the Blind


Team NAVIGATE aims to create a robust, portable navigational aid for the blind. Our prototype uses depth data from the Microsoft Kinect to perform realtime obstacle avoidance in unfamiliar indoor environments. The device augments the white cane by performing two signi cant functions: detecting overhanging objects and identifying stairs. Based on interviews with blind individuals, we found a combined audio and haptic feedback system best for communicating environmental information. Our prototype uses vibration motors to indicate the presence of an obstacle and an auditory command to alert the user to stairs ahead. Through multiple trials with sighted and blind participants, the device was successful in detecting overhanging objects and approaching stairs. The device increased user competency and adaptability across all trials.