Robot-Assisted Shopping for the Visually Impaired: Proof-of-Concept Design and Feasibility EvaluationBy Kulyukin, Vladimir; Gharpure, Chaitanya; Coster, Daniel; Assistive Technology, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 86-98
Publication Date: 2008
Article describes the development of RoboCart, proof-of-concept prototype of a robotic shopping cart for the use of visually impaired shoppers in supermarkets. RoboCart consists of a Pioneer 2DX mobile robotic base upon which a wayfinding toolkit (WT) resides in a pipe structure. The WT includes a Dell Ultralight X300 laptop connected to the platform’s microcontroller, a laser range finder, and a radio-frequency identification reader connected to an antenna. A shopping basket is mounted on the pipe structure, which includes a handle giving the shopper haptic feedback about RoboCart’s maneuvers. A 10-key numeric keypad attached to the handle is for giving instructions to RoboCart. Using the keypad, the shopper can select an item from a product directory, whereupon the RoboCart plans a route and guides the shopper to the vicinity of the product. The device then cues the shopper through synthetic speech and a portable barcode reader to the salient features of the environment sufficient for product retrieval. A feasibility study was conducted with 10 visually impaired participants using RoboCart to select and retrieve 12 products from various shelves in two aisles in a supermarket located in Logan, Utah. The study’s main finding was that RoboCart enables visually impaired shoppers to reliably and independently navigate to and retrieve products in a real supermarket.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J54870