Orientation and Mobility Instruction Aide

On a less quippy note, I recently worked on a more meaningful project for the Olin class Tech, Accessibility and Design. In collaboration with Perkins school for the blind, a couple other Oliners and I worked on expanding an app to help orientation and mobility instructors to teach children with visual impairments proper cane usage.

The idea is to encourage students learning to use a cane to have proper form. With the app, the more their cane sweeping pattern mimics the ideal motion, the more their favorite music plays as a reward.

The core of the app works by communicating with a little sensor attached to the cane. By utilizing the gyroscopic data from this tech, we can estimate the position and orientation of the cane in a 3D space. We can then match an observed cane sweep to an “ideal” cane sweep that extends 2 inches beyond the shoulder width of the user.


In order to make the app more user and child friendly, we added accounts that can be customized for each child that will take into account their size and use their favorite music and sounds.

You can also find the code base, videos, and a lot more information here. Oh also in case you were wondering, Perkins has a lot of canes.


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