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Assisting peRsonal GUidance System for people with visual impairment (ARGUS) 

Aims
The main goal of the ARGUS project is to develop innovative tools which could help blind and visually impaired people to move around autonomously and confidently. Such tools could also be used by people working in low-visibility and hazardous conditions.
  ARGUS

Brief Description
The ARGUS system will consist primarily of a user-friendly portable satellite-based navigation device with acoustic and haptic user interfaces enabling users to obtain a 3D spatial insight of their surrounding environment, and providing continuous assistance to follow a predefined path in urban, rural or natural areas.

ARGUS will act like a "leading climber", providing users with a virtual safety rope guiding them along a safe track, based on the usage of non-visual interfaces to let the users build and maintain a mental map of the path to be followed.

The system will allow uploading into the device pre-recorded tracks, paths, and points of interest. Once on-route, all what the user has to do is follow the continuous acoustic guidance and instructions provided by the device.

ARGUS is being designed especially for:
  • Blind and visually impaired people performing non-critical outdoor activities
  • Emergency and Rescue Teams and Health Professionals
  • People practicing scientific or sport activities in reduced visibility or hazardous conditions


Satellite navigation systems provide information mostly through graphical displays or verbal output, which are not convenient for people who cannot see or have to operate in environments where verbal instructions could interfere with other external sounds.

The challenge that ARGUS aims to meet is the integration of advanced user interfaces based on generated acoustic and haptic signals, with minimal interference on the userís perception and operation so that he/she can move around autonomously based on a three-dimensional mental map of the path to follow and the key features of the surrounding environment.

ARGUS will lead users along a secure path, warning on the risks that may find along the path and ensuring that the user does not deviate from the safe route.

Users will be able to download pre-recorded tracks from an accessible Website where they will find additional services, such as a social network that will enable them to share data and experiences, and will facilitate integration and collaboration.


Project Partners
    Vicomtech – IK4, Spain (lead)
    CEIT ALANOVA, Austria
    TeleConsult Austria, Austria
    The 425 Company, United Kingdom
    Olmedo Knowledge Systems, Spain
    Siemens AG, Germany

Financing
This research is funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement FP7-288841(ARGUS).

Status
    Successfully completed in 2014


The introduction into the project ARGUS at ION GNSS+ 2013 (Nashville, Tennessee, USA) won the best presentation award.

ARGUS ION Award