IBM's New AI Suitcase Will Help Blind People Travel Freely And Safely

Dhir Acharya - Feb 25, 2020


IBM's New AI Suitcase Will Help Blind People Travel Freely And Safely

IBM Japan and its partners are working on an AI suitcase, a robot that’s shaped like a suitcase and can help visually impaired people as they travel.

IBM Japan and its partners are working on a new robot that’s shaped like a suitcase and can help visually impaired people as they travel. Using AI, the navigation robot will help these people travel more independently, nationally and internationally.

The collaboration on this product involves IBM Japan, Mitsubishi, Shimizu, and two others. They came together at the end of 2019 to lend their expertise for the development of this AI suitcase. The AI suitcase is planned for a public pilot this June.

IBM's New AI Suitcase Will Help Blind People Travel Freely And Safely
IBM and partners are working on a navigation robot for visually impaired people

According to the group, the AI suitcase is expected to help visually impaired people find the best travel route based on the map data and their location. In addition, the suitcase robot, using video and sensor info, will help people avoid obstacles, give them alerts about nearby stores, as well as with required actions, joining a line for example.

IBM's New AI Suitcase Will Help Blind People Travel Freely And Safely
The robot is expected to help them travel freely and safely

The development of this AI suitcase is the result of inspiration from the research by Carnegie Mellon University’s Chieko Asakawa on CaBor, also a navigation robot. Asakawa said that her goal was to make it possible for people with visual impairment to travel around on their own, freely and safely.

10 blind people evaluated CaBot and gave feedback on features including walking speed as well as haptics in the handle that transmits directional feedback. In a report, researchers at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University said that CaBot offered a performance that highly exceeded expectations of users.

>>> A Walking 18-Meter Gundam Robot Is Being Built In Japan

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