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One team from ECE takes home two awards during the 17th Annual BOOM showcase

Thursday, March 27, 2014

This original student project is Pulso, a hand-mounted mobility device that allows visually impaired individuals to navigate their surroundings and perform day-to-day tasks by “feeling” their way around. Pulso uses both ultrasonic and infrared sensors to sense nearby objects and translates this information to the user through intuitive vibrational pulses.

Pulso is used by sweeping the device side-to-side like a white cane, checking for obstacles in the user’s path. Pulso provides extended range for improved obstacle detection and allows the user to detect various common hazards such as approaching obstacles and changes in elevation.

When used on nearby objects, Pulso uses an infrared-based ranging technique that allows the user to accurately and efficiently detect edges and distances of objects. This allows the user to generate a mental map of various objects, such as items on a table, just by sweeping his or her hand across them. The user can also “feel” his or her surroundings (especially in crowded and cramped places like public transportation) in a non-intrusive and safe manner.

Pulso was developed by students Eileen Liu and Shane Soh during ECE 4760 and are advised by Bruce Land, ECE Senior Lecturer. The team received both the GE Imagination at Work Award and the Goldman Sachs Award. Pulso is the only team to have won more than one prize.

Other awards went to:

  • People’s Choice Award – CUAUV
  • Where’s the BOOM? – B33P
  • eBay Innovator’s Award – Speare (Engagement Through Understanding)
  • Googleyist Project Award – Definitions Extractions from Code of Federal Regulations

Find out more about BOOM and the winning teams:

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