P14043: Smart Cane


Project Summary Project Information

For an updated project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

Safely and easily navigating the physical world can be challenging for the estimated 42,000 to 700,000 individuals with some level of both vision and hearing loss. The most common solutions used today are white canes and guide animals, however both of these solutions have their drawbacks and limitations.

There has also been much research into more advanced "smart canes" which detect objects and provide an audio or haptic warning to the user. However, these devices tend to be bulky, heavy, and fail to indicate a clear direction to guide the user. The audio canes are also ineffective in noisy environments and for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing users.

This project will focus on designing a white cane handle that warns and guides the user around the obstacle with clearly directional haptic feedback. The cane will also physically resemble a conventional cane and will be able to be operated intuitively for a deaf-blind user. This means the user will still be able to sweep, tap and feel the ground with the cane. Simply put, the system will have the ability to tell a user which way to go to avoid an upcoming obstacle, almost combining the benefits of guide animals and canes.

At the end of the project schedule, the team will have a working prototype of the cane handle and detection testing system, the associated design drawings, algorithms and all necessary documentation.

Throughout the design process, the team will continually reevaluate the design with the customers and stakeholders. A budget of $750 has also been set by the customer.

Project Name
Smart Cane
Project Number
Project Family
Biomedical Systems and Technologies Track
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Gary Werth, gdwddm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Patricia Iglesias, pxints@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Gary Behm, gwbnts@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Tom Oh, tom.oh@rit.edu

Team Members



Member Role Contact
Lauren Bell Mechanical Engineer leb9961@rit.edu
Aaron Vogel Mechanical Engineer afv6378@rit.edu
Jake Luckman Mechanical Engineer jal9584@rit.edu
Will McIntyre Electrical Engineer wjm6353@rit.edu
Jessica Davila Industrial Engineer jyd1666@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Project Review

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution

Build, Test, Document

Project Review