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Ocularone: Exploring Drones-based Assistive Technologies for the Visually Impaired

Raj, S and Padhi, S and Simmhan, Y (2023) Ocularone: Exploring Drones-based Assistive Technologies for the Visually Impaired. In: 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023, 23-28 April 2023, Hamburg.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3544549.3585863


Fleets of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also called drones, are becoming commonplace to support diverse applications in logistics and urban safety. These rely on advances in computer vision and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for autonomous navigation and control, facilitated by onboard sensors and accelerated edge computing devices attached to their base stations. This article examines how drones can be used for social good to enhance the lifestyle of Visually-Impaired People (VIP) through navigational assistance and situation awareness, enabled through visual analytics over drone video streams. We propose Ocularone, a platform for coordinating and managing a heterogeneous UAV fleet that offers drones as buddies to guide users. It uses onboard sensors and edge accelerators, and two-way communication using gestures and audio prompts, to enhance the safety and autonomy of the VIP. We validate our early prototype using Tello nano-drones and Jetson Nano edge accelerators, and present preliminary results for several safety scenarios.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publication: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: Antennas; Artificial intelligence; Assistive technology; Computer vision; Edge computing, Aerial vehicle; Assistive technology; Cloud-computing; Distributed coordination; Diverse applications; Edge computing; On-board sensors; Unmanned aerial vehicle; Visually impaired; Visually impaired people, Drones
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Computational and Data Sciences
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2023 06:27
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2023 06:27
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/81955

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