Dr. Ning Zhu, Dr. Ameera Al-Karkhi, Mr. Jaspreet Singh, Miss Samira Parveen, Mr. Harmanpreet Sidhu
Sheridan College/ Faculty of Applied Science and Technology
Each year at Sheridan college/School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology (MEET), over 35 student teams work together in capstone projects to design, build and showcase their projects that include advanced technologies such as Additive Manufacturing, Energy, Robotics, Automation, the Internet of Things and Advanced Electrical Devices. The Capstone projects provides the students with Hands-on learning transferable from the classroom, lab or workshop to the workplace. In order to prepare them to respond to the rapidly evolving field of Information and Communication Technology. They experience hands-on learning in critical topics like information systems security, Robotics and automation, computer programming, software engineering, interactive media management, database development and internet communications technology. For each field, the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology (MEET), nominated winners and one of the best winners from the last capstone showcase in the Electrical and Computer Engineering, the students designed and implemented Smart Navigation Guide for Visually Impaired People (Smart Cane), the students researched many platforms regarding this topic, and found that this is very rarely available and has very limited knowledge about this project in Canada. They have researched the implementation of various sensors and the functionality of the different devices to build this project. They have researched various sources which could provide a unique approach and methods to complete this task with proper tools. During this research, they have learned about the working and purpose of electronic boards with different sensors and have made a list of the functionality of sensors that would work properly with the Arduino UNO/Nano boards including ESP32 module/ Raspberry Pi.
They have also gained information regarding the GSM/GPS module which will be a one of the main sections of this project. The group members decided to select a project which has some real advantages to the people especially to the disabled people with hearing or vision loss. They researched on different platforms regarding related topics and found this one is rarely available with limited knowledge, especially in Canada.
This project focus on a smart navigation guide system for visually impaired people to provide a real time guide in detecting obstacles around themselves using various sensors and microcontrollers which includes Arduino, ESP32 module. This project includes 3 ultrasonic sensors which detects the objects within the range between the visually impaired person and obstruction. Other active sensor works as, the Light Dependent Resistors (LDR) photosensitive module detects the dark surroundings resulting in activating a buzzer and speaker to alert the user along with vibration motor. The user can follow the instructions based on the sensor’s activities. In addition to this, this project also has the water detection module which alerts the user about the wet surfaces eventually helps to navigate carefully on wet surfaces.
Another important feature of this project is the tracking section which works with Global Positioning System NEO-6M module to provide the location coordinates of the user with microcontroller (ESP32 module) device via Wi-Fi Communication. The emergency switch allows the user to share their location by GPS module to their family members or to their own device. This feature provides emergency assistance to the visually impaired people whenever they encounter into dangerous situations.
The Blynk application displays the real time location of the user on map with a text message on the device (Cell Phone). Blynk is one of the most popular IoT interface which connects IoT devices to cloud and allows to build interfaces for controlling and monitoring hardware projects from smartphone (iOS and Android). This application allows to create a project dashboard and arrange buttons, sliders, graphs, and other widgets onto the screen to provide real time data.