Help for the blind: Students develop app system

“KIVE – Artificial Intelligence for Traffic Sign Recognition” is considered to be very promising and has already received recognition in the run-up to the “Unique” competition of the Austrian Council for the Disabled.

The Braunauer HTL students Kilian Feix, Marco Nagl and Matthias Vöcklinger have set themselves the goal of helping disabled people as part of their diploma thesis. Their work is intended to make it easier for visually impaired people in particular to find their way around in traffic and enable them to cross roads and intersections safely.

Traffic sign app

For this purpose, the project team programmed an app that is equipped with artificial intelligence. If an impaired person moves in traffic, the surroundings are filmed with the help of the camera of the smartphone and the images are forwarded to the app, which can recognize traffic signs, traffic lights or protective routes relevant for pedestrians.

If a relevant object is detected, the user of the app is informed acoustically – depending on the setting via the mobile phone speaker or headphones – the distance from this object. “The application possibilities of our project are very diverse. With extensions, systems can be created that make life easier for many people,” says Kilian Feix, who submitted the project with his two colleagues to the “Unique” competition organized by the Austrian Council for the Disabled.

In the course of the competition, the high school graduates received helpful suggestions from disabled people and experts so that the project could be adapted as well as possible to the living environment of visually impaired people. “From obstacle detection to determining a priority situation in road traffic, everything is possible with our app”, say Marco Nagl and Matthias Vöcklinger.

By the end of the project, the three students at the HTL Braunau want to have trained the artificial intelligence to such an extent that the detection rate provides reliable information about the environment and the acoustic output and distance measurement work perfectly.

Promising results

The current status is promising. “The three students are fully committed to the project. They work a lot and, above all, really successfully on it,” says supervisor Kurt Kreilinger, who has already supported several promising projects at the HTL Braunau. After successful completion, the high school graduates will receive prize money of 2000 euros from the Austrian Disability Council for their commitment. (sedi)

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