Examination of a Guidance Robot for Visually Impaired People
Kazuteru Tobita, Katsuyuki Sagayama, and Hironori Ogawa
1-5-50 Kugenuma-shinmei, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-8501, Japan
We are developing the robot in order to guide visually impaired persons in large hospitals. This paper describes the structure of the robot and the results of a demonstration examination in Kanagawa Rehabilitation Hospital, Japan. The robot navigates to the destination while steering, depending on the force with which the user pushes on the robot. The success rate for reaching a destination with the robot was higher than with a white cane in the testing at Kanagawa Rehabilitation Hospital. We evaluated the traveling time and the participant questionnaire as an endpoint by Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Though there is no advantage in traveling time between use of the white cane and the robot, according to the scores of the participants questionnaire, it was shown that traveling with the robot was better than traveling with the white cane for the participants.
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