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Loughborough University students compete to create new technology for the visually impaired

Students from the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Embedded Intelligence (CDT-EI) participated in an annual Summer School challenge to create aids for the visually impaired earlier this month.

In partnership with Royal National College for the Blind (RNIB), the event saw teams of students from Loughborough compete to develop ‘embedded intelligence’ related aids for individuals living with visual impairment.

 The CDT-EI is a national training centre led by Loughborough University, in partnership with Heriot Watt University, and aims to train future research leaders in engineering for industry, life and health. The CDT- EI Summer School, held annually at the University, provides an opportunity for students to network and learn new skills.

This year, PhD students were given three days to develop their projects and test their prototypes with help from staff and students at the RNIB.

The winning prototype, awarded first place by a panel of judges, was an obstacle avoidance cane with an integrated facial recognition app. Runners-up included an obstacle detection cane and, a colour detection device which emits sound frequencies that correspond to colours.

Guest speakers from local organisations also attended the event including Anna Janickyj, RNIB College Loughborough, Brian Golland and Martin Grant, REMAP Leicestershire, and George Torrens, Senior Lecturer at the Loughborough Design School.

Commenting on the project, Brian Golland said: “We were most impressed by the interest shown by the students to our organisation and the work we do. All the projects they were undertaking were clearly very useful and had the potential of being made as a practical device. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to the students and was impressed with how they were attacking their project.”

CDT-EI is currently seeking science and engineering graduates and companies to participate in industrially co-sponsored PhD projects in the area of embedded intelligences. For more information, please contact Donna Palmer or visit www.cdt-ei.org