Compared to people with full vision, blind or severely visually impaired people have developed fascinating abilities to find their way around their environment with or without only limited vision. Nevertheless, blind people are faced with an immense challenge when they find themselves in an environment they are not familiar with, as it is the case when traveling or in nature, for example. Guide dogs or other aids can only provide limited support or are only available to a very limited extent. MCI recently acquired the SPOT robot from Boston Dynamics for research and other purposes. In addition to its use for numerous other projects, a kind of digital guide dog is being developed on the basis of the robot system, conducted by the research area Health Tech. It is intended to enable blind or severely visually impaired people to find their way in unknown environments. SPOT includes appropriate (street) maps, knows places of interest and can be controlled individually by blind people, e.g. for traveling or inside buildings. Due to its off-road capabilities, hiking tours should also be supported. Another idea is that it can be rented if necessary.
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Alexander Hörbst Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 – 4410 email@example.com
SPOT robot. Photo: MCI.