Use of robots to provide indoor navigation for people with visual disabilities in retail spaces and museums.

Summary

The task of navigating through new spaces can often be challenging for People with Visual Disabilities until they get acquainted with the pathways and key landmarks. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. When it comes to outdoor spaces, the availability of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) means that there are plenty of solutions available that aid everyone in navigating streets, sidewalks and over ground public transportation systems. When it comes to indoor spaces, where satellite signals required to operate GPS are not available, blind people face tremendous challenges in finding wayfinding systems. Because indoor wayfinding systems are far and few in between, the use of robots to provide this functionality is a viable option as well.

Not Initiated

Target Users

User Journey

KhaledKhaled is a 40-year-old blind man. He has travelled on his own to a new shopping mall.

1

Upon entering the building, Khaled wants to know where the food court is.

2

Mall staff direct him to the robot guide station.

3

Using the guide robot, he can independently navigate his way to the food court.

4

After eating, he uses the same guide robot to find the nearest men’s bathroom and then how to get to the exit nearest the adjoining metro station.

Potential Service Features

  • Personal profile for navigation preferences
  • Compatibility with wearables
  • Language independence
  • Text to speech compatibility
  • Emergency system push notifications

Touch Points

Issue Statement

The unavailability of indoor wayfinding systems means that most people with visual disabilities are unable to extend the functionality of GPS to buildings, leaving them without any navigation support. The use of a robot can offer a dynamic and easy to use alternative to navigate indoor spaces.

Expected Key Benefits

Increased independence for people with visual disabilities through the provision of effective, accessible and dynamic guide robots.

Implementation Analysis

Implementation Timeline

Timeline Medium

Low

Medium

High

Technology Commercial Viability

Timeline Short

Available Now

Viable in Short Term

Viable in Long Term

Investment Requirements

Timeline Medium

Low

Medium

High

Key Implementation Considerations

1

Real life situation user testing with people with visual disabilities

2

Accuracy of indoor wayfinding