Bus Identification & Homing for the Visually Impaired

Empowering the Visually Impaired towards Independent Mobility

Something as seemingly simple as accessing Public Transport, can actually be a very daunting task for someone with Visual Impairment. Being a key factor in seeking education, work & social connectivity, public transport needs to now be inclusive and accessible. The Visually Impaired community faces a range of hurdles from being unable to read Bus Numbers to safety concerns such as being unsure about the physical location of the approaching Buses. Adding on, finding the Entry / Exit gates of Buses also becomes a tedious and risky process. In the process of seeking help from other waiting passengers, many V.I. persons end up missing multiple buses and quite often get injured in the process. These scenarios instill fear and anxiety amongst any V.I. individual trying to use Public Transport and eventually lead to lower confidence levels and social exclusion.

The OnBoard is a Bus Identification & Homing System, developed in association with IIT, Delhi to aid V.I. Users in identifying Bus-Route Numbers, then selecting and boarding the selected Bus safely, through auditory cues from the entrance of Buses.

Empowering the Visually Impaired towards Independent Mobility

Something as seemingly simple as accessing Public Transport, can actually be a very daunting task for someone with Visual Impairment. Being a key factor in seeking education, work & social connectivity, public transport needs to now be inclusive and accessible. The Visually Impaired community faces a range of hurdles from being unable to read Bus Numbers to safety concerns such as being unsure about the physical location of the approaching Buses. Adding on, finding the Entry / Exit gates of Buses also becomes a tedious and risky process. In the process of seeking help from other waiting passengers, many V.I. persons end up missing multiple buses and quite often get injured in the process. These scenarios instill fear and anxiety amongst any V.I. individual trying to use Public Transport and eventually lead to lower confidence levels and social exclusion.

The OnBoard is a Bus Identification & Homing System, developed in association with IIT, Delhi to aid V.I. Users in identifying Bus-Route Numbers, then selecting and boarding the selected Bus safely, through auditory cues from the entrance of Buses.

PRODUCT COMPONENTS

The system comprises of three main modules:    The User Module    |    Bus Module    |    Programming Module

The User
Module

The user module is a hand-held device which works on a rechargeable battery and is light and compact, no larger than a typical mobile phone. This device has a small speaker for audio output, two Braille-marked buttons – Query & Selection and a small Power Switch. Pre-defined Key combinations are available to program the device’s functionality in the desired manner, e.g. The Auto Query mode or the restricted selection mode – enabling less effort for regular passengers on a particular route.

The Bus
Module

This module consists of a speaker and an RF unit. The speaker is installed near the entry door and announces the selected route number which acts as the audio cue for a user to locate the door of the bus, helping them safely home-in to the selected Bus.

The Programming
Module

An administrator at the Depot can configure the bus module for all possible routes that the given bus can take and activate the current route number from the set, that the Bus would be deployed on. This enables an accurate and updated Route Number Selection for end Users.

How it Works

Once a user presses the Query Button on the hand-held User module, a query signal is submitted to all Buses in the 30-meter vicinity, activating the Bus Modules in each Bus to respond with the respective Route Number which is spoken out through a small speaker on the Hand-held Module. After this, the user can select the desired route number by pressing the ‘Selection’ Button. A repetitive voice output is generated from a speaker installed at the entry gate of the selected Bus, thereby helping Visually Impaired Users board the Bus without external assistance.

The Bus Module & Small Hand-held User Module

Key Features

–  Low Power
–  No Structural Support required at Bus Stop
–  Easy Selection
–  Audio Cues
–  RF Technology 


User Identifying Buses in the Vicinity


The Bus Module mounted near the Entry Door helping the User Home in, towards the waiting Bus

Technical Specifications

Parameters*User ModuleBus Module**Programming Module
Operating SystemSub GHz RF controllerSub GHz RF Controller8-bit AVR
 Power Battery: 300 mAhRequired external 24 VDC power supply Battery: 300 mAh
 User Input SwitchSwitch4X4 Keypad
 User Output Speaker, 3.5mm Audio Jack  Speaker 16X2 Character Display
 Battery Charging Micro USB Not Applicable  Micro USB
 Communication  RF (443 MHz) RF (443 MHz) BLE 4.1 USB
 Power BackupNo. of Queries/Selections Possible: 2200 Not ApplicableNo. of Bus Programming Possible: 50
 Dimensions (mm) 80.6 (L) X 45.6 (W) X 18.7 (H) 125 (∅) X 100 (L) 135.2 (L) X 86 (W) X 20 (H)

* No of Query/Selection is calculated on some predefined operating conditions**No of bus programming is calculated on some predefined operating conditions

PRODUCT COMPONENTS

The User
Module

The user module is a hand-held device which works on a rechargeable battery and is light and compact, no larger than a typical mobile phone. This device has a small speaker for audio output, two Braille-marked buttons – Query & Selection and a small Power Switch. Pre-defined Key combinations are available to program the device’s functionality in the desired manner, e.g. The Auto Query mode or the restricted selection mode – enabling less effort for regular passengers on a particular route.

The Bus
Module

This module consists of a speaker and an RF unit. The speaker is installed near the entry door and announces the selected route number which acts as the audio cue for a user to locate the door of the bus, helping them safely home-in to the selected Bus.

The Programming
Module

An administrator at the Depot can configure the bus module for all possible routes that the given bus can take and activate the current route number from the set, that the Bus would be deployed on. This enables an accurate and updated Route Number Selection for end Users.

How it Works

Once a user presses the Query Button on the hand-held User module, a query signal is submitted to all Buses in the 30-meter vicinity, activating the Bus Modules in each Bus to respond with the respective Route Number which is spoken out through a small speaker on the Hand-held Module. After this, the user can select the desired route number by pressing the ‘Selection’ Button. A repetitive voice output is generated from a speaker installed at the entry gate of the selected Bus, thereby helping Visually Impaired Users board the Bus without external assistance.

The Bus Module & Small Hand-held User Module

Key Features

–  Low Power
–  No Structural Support required at Bus Stop
–  Easy Selection
–  Audio Cues
–  RF Technology 


User Identifying Buses in the Vicinity


The Bus Module mounted near the Entry Door helping the User Home into the waiting Bus

Technical Specifications

Parameters*User ModuleBus Module**Programming Module
Operating SystemSub GHz RF controllerSub GHz RF Controller8-bit AVR
 Power Battery: 300 mAhRequired external 24 VDC power supply Battery: 300 mAh
 User Input SwitchSwitch4X4 Keypad
 User Output Speaker, 3.5mm Audio Jack  Speaker 16X2 Character Display
 Battery Charging Micro USB Not Applicable  Micro USB
 Communication  RF (443 MHz) RF (443 MHz) BLE 4.1 USB
 Power BackupNo. of Queries/Selections Possible: 2200 Not ApplicableNo. of Bus Programming Possible: 50
 Dimensions (mm) 80.6 (L) X 45.6 (W) X 18.7 (H) 125 (∅) X 100 (L) 135.2 (L) X 86 (W) X 20 (H)

* No of Query/Selection is calculated on some predefined operating conditions**No of bus programming is calculated on some predefined operating conditions

The Latest in Assistive Technology

The EMPOWER 2018 Conference showcased a variety of Assistive Technology Solutions, with a strong focus on empowering the Visually Impaired Community.
Refreshable Braille
RBD is a powerful system, displaying characters using round-tipped pins raised through holes in a flat surface. It provides ‘line by line’ output of the digital content.
Assistive Technology
Prof M. BalaKrishnan spoke about the Inventions that he & his team came up with to make the Visually Impaired completely independent - on the Eureka Interview.
onboard system
OnBoard will make public transport more accessible and affordable for the visually impaired. It aids the user in identifying the bus-route number & then enables them to board the correct …

The Latest in Assistive Technology

The EMPOWER 2018 Conference showcased a variety of Assistive Technology Solutions, with a strong focus on empowering the Visually Impaired Community.
Refreshable Braille
RBD is a powerful system, displaying characters using round-tipped pins raised through holes in a flat surface. It provides ‘line by line’ output of the digital content.
Assistive Technology
Prof M. BalaKrishnan spoke about the Inventions that he & his team came up with to make the Visually Impaired completely independent - on the Eureka Interview.
onboard system
OnBoard will make public transport more accessible and affordable for the visually impaired. It aids the user in identifying the bus-route number & then enables them to board the correct …

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