Guide dogs are indispensable helpers for thousands of blind and visually impaired people, but they are not available to everyone. But soon there will be devices that can replace them.
Anthony Camus, an industrial design student at Loughborough University, UK, has developed a device called Theia, which is based on ideas used in VR gaming consoles and self-driving cars. In the final version, Theia will function as a robot guide. But the technology is currently in the development stage.
The basis of the device is a gyroscope with momentum control, which is used in control systems of spacecraft (including the ISS). It provides force feedback based on where the user is moving, moving his hand in the desired direction like a guide dog.
In addition to the gyroscope, Theia is equipped with a lidar and camera that allow you to create a three-dimensional image of the surrounding area, similar to the way unmanned vehicles do.
Users can enter a destination using voice commands, and on-board processors determine the best route in real time, taking into account the peculiarities of pedestrian and car traffic, as well as weather conditions.