P14043: Smart Cane

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Project Summary

Canes are a tool for navigation for those that are visually impaired. Held in a user’s hand, the design is primarily used for object or obstruction detection in a person’s direction of travel. Current designs depend on an audio signal interaction that conveys informational feedback from sensors located on the cane. This device allows for a larger range of obstruction detection than the cane can alone. However, downfalls exist when the cane is used in environments where audible signals are challenging to identify.

This project focuses on improving the cane’s performance in noisy environments, as well as improving the design to serve a larger customer base that includes deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. The expected and end result would be a Smart Cane with detection sensors that coupled with a mechanical device provide directional feedback in response to environmental obstructions. Simply put, the system will have the ability to tell a user which way to go given a travel obstruction.

Customer Requirements

Customer Interview

During the initial Customer Meeting/Interview, we were able to ask questions regarding the Project Readiness Package, intended scope of work and other questions to better understand the voice of the customer.

Our finalized interview questions

Some of the key notes collected during the meeting can be found here

Customer Requirements

A Customer Requirements table from the interviews is in the linked spreadsheet



Engineering Requirements

An Engineering Requirements table from the interviews is in the linked spreadsheet


House of Quality

The House of Quality is in the linked spreadsheet

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

A summary of our project goals and key deliverables can be found in the linked document

Problem Definition Presentation: Week 3 Presentation

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