Magnetic Walking Stick for the Visually-Impaired

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Magnetic Walking Stick for the Visually-Impaired


 In order to help the visually challenged people, a study that helps those people to walk more confidently is proposed. The study hypothesizes a smart walking stick that alerts visually-impaired people over obstacles, and fire, water in front could help them in walking with less accident. It outlines a better navigational tool for the visually impaired. It consists of a simple walking stick equipped with sensors to give information about the environment. A white cane is used by the blind or the visually-impaired to scan the surroundings for obstacles and orientation marks and find the correct path. The visually-impaired using a white cane still need a sighted guide when they need to walk down the street or use the stairs. This proposed project will help them reach their destination without much dependency on a sighted guide. It uses magnetic reed switches mounted on a specially-designed walking stick. The complete system requires magnetic tracks designed for the visually-impaired. It is built around two magnetic reed switches, 1.5V AA pencil cell, piezo buzzer, connecting wires, and 1.27cm (1/2-inch) PVC pipe for construction. Two normally-open (NO)-type reed switches are placed at the bottom of the walking stick, which is connected to a buzzer. The proposed construction detail of the magnetic walking stick.



This system presents a concept to provide a smart electronic aid for blind people. The system is intended to provide overall measures of artificial vision and object detection. The aim of the overall system is to provide a low cost and efficient navigation aid for the blind which gives a sense of artificial vision by providing information about the environmental scenario of objects around them. In this system embedded system plays a major role. In this system, we are using the Pizo-electric buzzer, reed switches, wires, zero PCB, etc. A piezo buzzer is a sound-producing device. The main working principle is based on the theory that, whenever an electric potential is applied across a piezoelectric material, a pressure variation is generated. A piezo buzzer consists of piezo crystals in between two conductors. When a potential difference is applied across these crystals, they push one conductor and pull the other conductor by their internal property. The continuous pull and push action generate a sharp sound wave. Piezo buzzers generate a loud & sharp sound. So, they are typically used as alarm circuits. Also, they are used to make an alert of an event, signal, or sensor input. A special characteristic of the piezo buzzer is, the sound pitch or level is not depended on the voltage level that is, it works only in a specific voltage range.

The reed switch is an electrical switch operated by an applied magnetic field. It was invented at Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1936 by W. B. Ellwood. The simplest magnetic-field sensor is a reed switch. It contains two ferromagnetic nickel and iron reed elements in an evacuated, hermetically sealed glass tube to minimize contact arcing.

When an axially aligned magnet approaches the switch, its magnetic force closes the reeds. The magnet typically generates at least a 50 Gauss force to overcome the return force or spring of the reed elements. Reed switches are inexpensive, require no standby power, and can function with both ac and dc electrical loads. However, they are relatively slow, so they may not respond fast enough for some high-speed applications. Since the switches are mechanical devices with moving parts, they have a finite number of operating cycles before they eventually fail. Switching high-current loads can further reduce life expectancy.

The power supply to the pcb is given by using an 9v battery.



The circuit diagram of the walking stick for the visually-impaired is shown above.

It is built around two magnetic reed switches, 1.5V AA pencil cell, piezo buzzer, connecting wires, and 1.27cm (1/2-inch) PVC pipe for construction.

Two normally-open (NO)-type reed switches are placed at the bottom of the walking stick, which is connected to a buzzer. 


This was the proposed construction of the walking stick which was initially accepted but had many issues as the battery(power supply) was not been able to keep inside the stick as shown in the fig.and the internal wiring of the circuit was also as the radius of the pipe was small and we were not able to accomplish it and there were many challenges to complete it but we tried to put all the wires the supply wires outside the stick, and also the reed switch while placing inside the stick had issues and 2-3 switch got damaged too.


Zero PCB40rs
Reed Switch350rs
Piezo Electric Buzzer30rs
Pvc pipe60rs

CIRCUIT DESCRIPTION & WORKING Take a 1.27cm PVC pipe and insert two reed switches and a 1.5V cell inside the pipe, as shown in Fig. Mount the buzzer at a suitable location outside the pipe.

The whole system can be enclosed inside the PVC pipe and used as a white cane. The user does not need to carry any other device. He or she should always keep the tip of the walking stick near the magnetic track while walking.  It shows the application of the project along the magnetic track. The magnetic track is one of the musts in the application of this project in daily life.

APPLICATIONS The Magnetic walking stick can be used in many places for the blind to be independent and walk free without any fear of falling or entering to danger zones or prohibited areas as this stick requires a magnetic path throughout the pathway for its application when a pathway is designed they can easily follow the same pathway and if they are distracted or enter into a wrong area the buzzer will alarm them and guide them to follow the perfect pathway, also the crowded places like a railway station or bus depot they can easily travel without any hesitation as they may have their own pathway.

DRAWBACKS The main drawback of the magnetic Walking stick (Magnetic Walking Stick for the Visually-Impaired)is that it requires a special magnetic pathway through which if the stick goes by and enters into a nonmagnetic path the buzzer will alarm the blind person to follow the right path. For this a magnetic path has to be designed without which this cannot be used in action, also in public bridges streets easily magnets can be placed as there are metals that may attract a magnet and help the blind to be on the right path too.

The government has to think and make many plans which can be easily implemented in cities as many smart cities are being built. Also, this is a low-cost long-lasting project which may help blind people in the long run as especially in railway stations bus depots which has the fixed pathway towards the bus or trains. This project will indeed be successful and fruitful for the people and will be a good initiative for handicapped people at a low cost.

CONCLUSION & RESULT The project ( Magnetic Walking Stick for the Visually-Impaired) the design and the architecture of the new concept of smart electronics guiding stick for blind people using a magnet. The advantage of the system lies in the fact that it can prove to be very low-cost solutions to millions of blind persons working and hustling daily worldwide. The proposed system of various working units makes a real-time system that helps traveling and to navigate pathways more secure and safe.

It can be further improved to have more DECISION taking capabilities by employing various types of sensors and thus could be used for different applications. The system aims to solve the problems faced by the blind people in daily life and also ensures safety up to some extents


Magnetic Walking Stick for the Visually-Impaired can be further enhanced by using VLSI(very large scale integration)technology to design the PCB unit. This makes the system furthermore compact. Also, the use of RFID(Radio Frequency Identification) tags will transmit location information automatically to the PCB unit when the intelligent stick is in its range. Also, the GPS(global positioning system) can be integrated to the stick for more security and more accurate location tracking of the person if he/she goes out alone for work can be tracked by the caretaker.

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