Safe and independent navigation of urban environments is a key feature of accessible cities. People who have physical challenges need practical, customizable, low-cost and easily-deployable mobility aids to help them safely navigate urban environments. Technology tools provide opportunities to empower people with disabilities to overcome some day-to-day challenges.
Our work focuses on designing, implementing, testing and deploying a smart mobile phone-based personalized navigation aid (NavPal) to enhance the navigation capability and thereby the independence and safety of visually impaired and deafblind people. The goal of the project is to use the smart phone navigation application to assist visually impaired and deafblind people to safely evacuate specific buildings in emergency situations. (Photo caption: NavPal application)
NavPal is a joint effort of TechBridgeWorld and the rCommerce lab, two research groups in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with Google Inc.