SAN JOSE, CA (TIP): 13-year-old Indian-origin student from San Jose, California developed a device to help visually impaired navigate has been named one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers of 2015 and granted a 5,000 dollars award by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Raghav started a quest to help the visually impaired by focusing his attention on the white canes used to detect obstacles in their path.
“I saw how, despite being used for several centuries, the white cane does not provide users enough information about their environment,” he said.
Raghav designed and built a device that uses sensors to detect objects beyond the reach of the canes.
His device clamps onto the cane, uses ultrasonic and infrared sensors to detect obstacles more than six feet beyond the end of the cane and communicates this information to the user through vibrations in the cane’s handle.
Raghav secured a grant to make multiple copies and hopes to create an open patent so that organizations for the blind around the world can make the device for their clients.
For his efforts, Raghav was one of the 10 middle and high school students named America’s top youth volunteers for 2015 at Prudential’s 20th annual Spirit of Community Awards on May 4.