Steve Hoefer from Grathio Labs has developed the Tacit project, basically an assistance device for sonar obstacle avoidance with haptic feedback. The device can measure the distance to objects and translate that into pressure on the wrist. It is based on our favorite Arduino Mini Pro.
According to Steve, it’s wrist mounted and senses objects from about 1 inch (2 cm) to 10 feet (3.5m). It has generally fast response time (fractions of a second) to quickly navigate complex environments. It’s designed to help a vision impaired person to navigate complex environments. Mounted to the back of the hand, the force feedback means it doesn’t interfere with other assistance devices that mount elsewhere and use audio feedback cues.
Steve shares in his post all the information on how to build it (parts and schematics) and the Arduino code as well. Great work and beautiful design Steve!
Check also the video for a short live demo of the prototype: