Efficacy of the UltraCaneBy Penrod, William M.; Bauder, Debra K.; Simmons, Thomas; Belcher, Lauren; Corley, James W.; Closing the Gap, Vol. 25, No. 5, pp. 19-21
Publication Date: December/January 2007
Article focuses on the UltraCane electronic travel aid from Sound Foresight, Limited. The device utilizes active sonar to detect objects to the front and above, while it also has the standard cane features, such as the ability to detect drop-offs such as curbs, steps, and stairs. The UltraCane has two forward ranges: (1) short range mode, which offers object detection to roughly two meters beyond the cane, and (2) long range mode, which increases object detection to four meters. The device also features an overhead mode, which detects objects above the wrist at roughly one and one-half meters. A pilot study is discussed in which five sighted graduate students at the University of Louisville in Kentucky received two and one-half days of training with the UltraCane. The participants were blindfolded, and asked to travel an outdoor route in a clinical setting. The route was one city block long, parallel to a busy street. The participants were graded in terms of rates of unintentional contacts with artificial obstacles along the route, unintentional contacts with natural obstacles along the route, and speed of route execution. The UltraCane was found to yield increased performance when compared with a standard long cane. Implications for future research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: ULTRACANE
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)