Identifying accessibility problems (e.g., steps, steep road) is beneficial for enabling the smooth movement of impaired/elderly people. To construct accessibility maps that satisfy both the accuracy and coverage, we have proposed a crowdsourcing platform that requires people to acquire inertial sensor data during walking; accessibility problems are detected by a neural network that analyzes the sensor data. However, appropriate network structures for detection of accessibility problems have not been discussed. Accordingly, in this paper, we compare neural network structures for detection of accessibility problems. The preliminary study results showed that Type-wise structure network that concatenates data according to data type (i.e., acceleration data or rotation rate data) yielded the highest performance in detecting accessibility problems.
Phantom limb pain (PLP) is defined as a painful sensation perceived in an affected limb following amputation or deafferentation after trauma, such as spinal cord injury or brachial plexus avulsion injury. Patients suffering from PLP usually feel that their phantom limb is paralyzed and stuck in a fixed position. For many cases, they also experience decreased voluntary movement of their phantom limb. Mirror therapy is the most famous and well-adopted technique used for PLP rehabilitation. However there has also been some problems and difficulties in the mirror therapy. In this report, we interviewed patients with PLP (so called “Tojisha”) with regards to mirror therapy. With the in depth communication from Tojisha, the digital mirror therapy has been enhanced which aimed to resolve some problems persist in traditional mirror therapy.
We aim to develop assistive technology for visually impaired persons using computer-vision-based object detection. Many researchers report using vision-based assistive technologies in recent years, but developers could not develop deep-learning vision-based systems without a dataset. Therefore, we developed a dataset that developers can use to create deep-learning vision-based applications for visually impaired persons. The dataset contains 7,122 images and 83,319 instances covering 39 object classes. We implemented a navigation system with the dataset to prove the validity and got some positive feedback from participants.
This study proposes a semi-voluntarily motion presentation system based on the force applied to the arm swing mechanism in a locomotion interface (LI) that can present arm swing motion in addition to foot motion during walking. It is considered that the device can be operated by using the force of the arm swing even when the user cannot move the foot voluntarily. We performed a comparative experiment of walking with the automatic method and walking with the proposed method. As a result, it was confirmed that there was a difference in the rotation angle of the body, and the usefulness of the semi-automatic LI that moves by swinging the arm was confirmed.
By leveraging the large-scale interactive floor projection system installed in a special-needs school gymnasium (FUTUREGYM), we aim to support youths with special needs in the acquisition of proper working procedures when cleaning the floor. The trajectory of a mop can be visualized by floor projection after or during the cleaning session. In order to manipulate tools for cleaning, the ability of spatial perception and coordinated movement is necessary, which is sometimes difficult for people with Neurodevelopmental disorders (ND). Here, we verified three different kinds of floor projection methods to give feedback of the trajectory of the mop, which is generated according to the position of both the person and the mop.
We propose a sports watching method called “Sports Social View,” in which sighted persons translate sports movements into different types of physical actions, and share them with the visually impaired. For example, in the case of tennis game, a sighted person expresses the movement of a tennis ball by hitting a board, and a visually impaired person detects it by touching the board. In the case of judo game, two sighted persons simulate the movements of judo players by pulling a cloth, and a visually impaired person perceives the players’ movements by holding the cloth. With this method, the visually impaired can enjoy sports watching using haptic sensations, and feel a sense of unity with the sighted persons.
People with visual impairments experience difficulty in understanding graphical information. They can comprehend graphics through tactile devices, including pin matrix display with sound effects and voice guides. Although these systems can represent static figures, it is challenging to use such tactile systems for presenting moving images or details of high-resolution images. For solving this issue, we focused on the characteristics of auditory perception, including time resolution and frequency detection. In this paper, we propose a loudspeaker matrix system that displays 2D patterns, such as trajectories or figures. We mainly investigated the design implications of acoustic presentation methods, including readily perceivable sound paths. The results indicate that white noise was generally reasonable to present a 2-D diagram, but pulse trains and white noise tended to be more applicable to present polygonal or curvy patterns, respectively.
Wheelchair users with physical disabilities have many problems related to clothes because of the functional limitation of the body and the changes in body shape. In order to improve the quality of life (QoL) concerning the clothes for wheelchair users, our research group has developed a prototype application of virtual fitting that allows the wheelchair users to check physically simulated fitting results without getting off from their wheelchairs. Since the prototype has only been demonstrated as a proof of concept, actual users’ organized evaluation has not been demonstrated. This paper introduces an organized evaluation of the virtual fitting application by applying the application in producing the uniform of the Paralympic athletes with a Japanese sports gear brand and conducting a questionnaire survey. By going through the evaluations, we summarize problems and future works for the social implementation of the application.
Dementia patients with memory impairment live their daily lives with a cognitive gap between the perceived environment and the real environment. In this study, we propose a VR system that can simulate part of the life of a dementia patient with memory impairment. The proposed system manipulates the surrounding VR environment that the user cannot notice while performing a series of the task, which expresses the difference between the recognized environment and the actual environment due to memory impairment. We implemented the system and conducted an evaluation experiment. We conducted a questionnaire to examine the impression of dementia before and after experiencing the system and investigated the effectiveness of the system from the difference.
The importance of facilitating the visually impaired to appreciate works in museums is increasing today. We produced “Tactile Manga” which allows visitors to touch and appreciate manga works at museum exhibitions. In this work, we not only transformed the visual experience of reading a manga into a tactile experience, but also explored the possibility of easy and inexpensive production by using the technology of digital fabrication. In this paper, the characteristics of both the haptic media and the manga expression were highlighted.
Visually induced illusory self-motion perception is named “Vection”. In this article, we investigated the history of vection. There have been a lot of contents and technology using and relating to vection, e.g. analogue contents, movies, animations, 3D computer graphics (3D CGs), Games, and VR contents. We introduced these things in chronological order. The readers will be able to understand the history of vection very briefly.
We measured body movement during self-rotation about the yaw axis to investigate the effects of visual information on body control. In Experiment 1, subject rotated to the indicated angle, and we manipulated the relative velocity of optical flow which was the visual motion concomitant with the movement of subject. In the result, the response angles decreased as the relative velocity of optical flow increased. We assumed that the rotation velocity would decrease while the arrival time was constant. We hypothesized that as the optical flow velocity increased, the perception of self-rotation velocity increased and the subject would keep it constant unconsciously, resulting in that the physical rotational-velocity decreased and rotational angle also decreased. In Experiment 2, we found that the rotational velocity also decreased even though the subjects proactively ignored the visual motion. It suggests that the estimation of the velocity of the self-rotation was inevitably affected by visual information even if enough information from the vestibular system is available during self-rotation.
This paper proposes a telediagnosis system that allows medical staff to examine remote patients through a telexistence robot with tactile sensor/display devices. The system consists of three components, including a Six Degrees of Freedom (6 DoF) movable audio-visual telexistence system for telecommunication, body temperature and heartbeat measurement equipment, and a skin-imitated tactile display equipped with thermal/pressure presentation devices. Compared to conventional videophones, this multimodal mixed reality (MR) telediagnosis system is expected to allow medical staff to examine patients more carefully as if they are observing patients in person.Twelve experts (ten medical doctors and two nurses) evaluated the system. The results indicate that the system shows a positive feasibility for improving the realism of telediagnosis. Subsequently, the effects of telexistence with tactile information on telediagnosis are discussed.
We propose a glasses-free tabletop 3D display that does not need a very high number of projectors with a static screen. The conventional method reproduces a 360-degree-viewable light field of virtual objects on a round table, but it requires several hundred projectors to display high-quality 3D images. Our novel approach realizes a similar light field using merely 1/12 the number of projectors. Our method inserts two cylindrical mirrors in the projection light paths. The mirrors manipulate the optical paths appropriately and form any directional perspective image from a group of rays sourced from all projectors arranged on a circle.