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LSA Fellows 11 

Project title: Minimizing fall risks by using augmented reality glasses with active obstacle detection

Projectleader: Dr. Felix Ball




Life expectancy dramatically increased over the last centuries due to rapid developments in healthcare. However, higher average life expectancies also create new challenges for the healthcare system. Not only cognitive functions decline over time, but also physical and perceptual functions. Thus, elderly people are e.g. more likely to fall and to suffer serious or even fatal injuries. Therefore, the aim of this project is to extend existing methods of fall prevention. The project focusses on active visual navigation aids, which can highlight dangerous objects in the path of a person and thus prevent possible collisions. Such navigation aid would especially be suitable for older people, as they usually suffer more severe consequences after falls.

to test whether and how a visual obstacle detection aid contributes to safer walking behaviour (i.e. less collisions and falls) and how it alters walking behaviour in general (e. g. slower walking speed). In addition, these experiments will test how well an obstacle detection algorithm has to perform in order to contribute to the minimization of fall risks while being user-friendly at the same time (e. g, how should dangerous objects be highlighted so that participants use the information provided by the vision aid). In addition, an algorithm for hazard identification will be implemented, which will be compatible with current SMART glasses for augmented reality.

In summary, the methodology presented here offers great potential, e.g. for applied clinical research as well as the development of new devices to increase safety of the older population. 

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