London-headquartered WeWALK has secured £1.7m funding from UK Analysis and Innovation (UKRI) for its “sensible cane” that makes use of laptop imaginative and prescient to assist individuals with visible impairments transfer round busy areas.
The capital was awarded as a part of the as a part of UKRI’s Wholesome Ageing Problem. It can see WeWALK companion with the Imperial School London and the Royal Nationwide Institute of Blind Individuals (RNIB).
“Laptop imaginative and prescient has limitless potential in fixing mobility issues skilled by visually impaired and older individuals, from figuring out landmarks to navigating advanced areas,” stated Kürşat Ceylan, co-founder, WeWALK.
The corporate has created a sensible cane that makes use of ultrasonic sensors to assist these with visible impairments and could be paired with a cell app to present voice-guided navigation.
“Our specialist data and that of our companions, which have an in-depth understanding of overcoming the limitations to utilizing mobility know-how, present a great platform in creating new and efficient options,” added Ceylan.
The NHS says that there are greater than two million people in the UK which can be dwelling with sight loss and 340,000 registered blind or partially sighted.
WeWALK will use the funding to advertise the usage of laptop vision-aided navigation and make its tech extra accessible.
Robin Spinks, principal supervisor, digital accessibility, RNIB, stated: “We might be closely concerned in person testing working with a big group of blind and partially sighted individuals to harness their day-to-day lived expertise.
“We will even be working with our person expertise staff to develop a game-changing product that can enhance the lives of visually impaired people worldwide.”
Based in 2017, the corporate has additionally developed a smartphone app that gives voice-guided navigation. It has beforehand worked with Microsoft on the analysis and improvement of its sensible cane.
“All through this ground-breaking venture, we might be utilizing a few of the most subtle sensing and analytics know-how together with AI and machine studying to ship on our ambitions,” stated Professor Washington Ochieng, head, division of civil and environmental engineering, Imperial School London.
Different recipients of UKRI’s Wholesome Ageing Problem are behavioural change app Holly Health, which was awarded £540,000.
One other is Lifted, a house care platform that was awarded £1.3m by the general public physique.