The 'EyeCane', a new electronic travel aid for the blind: Technology, behavior & swift learning

Shachar Maidenbaum, Shlomi Hanassy, Sami Abboud, Galit Buchs, Daniel Robert Chebat, Shelly Levy-Tzedek, Amir Amedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Purpose: Independent mobility is one of the most pressing problems facing people who are blind. We present the EyeCane, a new mobility aid aimed at increasing perception of environment beyond what is provided by the traditional White Cane for tasks such as distance estimation, navigation and obstacle detection.

Results: Blind and blindfolded-sighted participants were able to use the EyeCane successfully for distance estimation, simple navigation and simple obstacle detection after only several minutes of training.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate the EyeCane's potential for mobility rehabilitation. The short training time is especially important since available mobility training resources are limited, not always available, and can be quite expensive and/or entail long waiting periods.

Methods: The 'EyeCane' enhances the traditional White Cane by using tactile and auditory output to increase detectable distance and angles. It circumvents the technical pitfalls of other devices, such as weight, short battery life, complex interface schemes, and slow learning curve. It implements multiple beams to enables detection of obstacles at different heights, and narrow beams to provide active sensing that can potentially increase the user's spatial perception of the environment. Participants were tasked with using the EyeCane for several basic tasks with minimal training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-824
Number of pages12
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Blind
  • SSD
  • active sensing
  • mobility
  • rehabilitation
  • sensory substitution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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