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Guiding system for visually impaired for individual running on the track

Team

Participant no.* / Type of participant

Participant organisation name

Role in the project

Participant short name

Country

1 (coordinator) / RTDP ATEKNEA Solutions Hungary Kft 

Coordinator

Software development

ATEKNEA

HU

2 / SMEP INFOALAP

Test and validation / Distribution

INFOALAP

HU

3 / SMEP PPS Projects GmbH

BlackFIR manufacturing

PPS

D

4 /SMEP ELITAC Ltd

Belt manufacturing

ELITAC

NL

5 / SMEP ENESO Tecnología de Adaptación S.L

System distribution

ENESO

ES

6 / SMEP ADAPTOR AS

Test and validation / Distribution

ADAPTOR

NO

7 /OTHER Budapesti Sportszolgáltató Központ

End-user, testing

BSK

HU

8 / RTDP Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia

Tactile belt development

IBV

ES

9 / RTDP Fraunhofer – Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen

Real time localization hardware development

Fraunhofer IIS

D

2. INFOALAP-Informatics for the Visually Impaired Foundation- Hungary

infoalap_logo

Business activities: The aim of the foundation is to support visually impaired people living in Hungary to receive modern computer systems that are equipped with the necessary auxiliary software to assure the successful participation of visually impaired people in education and training. The foundation is aiming at providing the accessibility of the latest information technology results to increase the number of suitable job opportunities for visually impaired persons. The foundation continuously localises and upgrades screen reader and screen magnifier software, optical character recognition software. It regularly donates software and hardware (portable and desk-top video-magnifiers, Braille displays, PDAs) to visually impaired people and is also involved in a number of development projects as advisor and tester. The foundation has a 5 year experience in software localisation in carrying out market survey. INFOALAP has 8 visually impaired employees, and a large visually impaired clientele within Hungary.

Main role in the consortium: INFOALAP will be actively involved in system specifications, based on its experience with IT for visually impaired, and will support the technology optimization by providing direct evaluation feedback for. They will also support hardware and software development by the evaluation of ergonomic aspects by its low vision IT engineers, as well as being active in system tests. INFOALAP will also be highly involved in dissemination and exploitation related activities being responsible primarily for the Eastern Europe, especially Hungarian region, where the foundation is ready to take over the job of dissemination the results among visually impaired population (on regular exhibitions organised by the National Association for Blind and Visually Impaired, and regional shows held by associations all over the country.

Expected benefits: INFOALAP expects to offer a completely new possibility for the blind. One of its main aims is to involve those people who have not tried to do sport because of their sight problems and those who tried but had negative experiences. As re-distributor the foundation will be a retailer of the product on the Hungarian market realising direct benefit and from maintenance and installation support it will also receive benefits from the consortium.

3. PPS GmbH – Germany

PPS

Business activities: PPS is a SME which is developing hard- and software in the area of localisation systems and special communication technologies. Their main activities are to develop products, using base technology of Fraunhofer IIS and bringing them into the market. They are working in the logistic area as well as in the so called Health Care and people monitoring area. Another big part in the developments and in the planned business is the complete safety and security area of large infrastructures like airports, harbours, power plants, and mines. PPS has a number of sales engineers, normal hard- and software application- and real product developers under the supervision of leading scientists.

Main role in the consortium: PPS will be the supplier of the technology that is capable of real-time detection of the running people in the running track. It will closely cooperate with Fraunhofer Institute IIS during the research period and will supply the prototype of the project. PPS will define the prototype in regard of later products and will assist the development partners in defining the real use cases as well as the general evaluation of the developments. It will support and ensure the localisation elements of BLINDTRACK in exploitation phase.

Expected benefits: Having access to a newly developed localisation and monitoring system which fits perfectly in the planned road map of the company. They hope to enter the market of sports and recreation together with consortium SMEs. BLINDTRACK will help PPS expand its product line and strengthen position in the sector of sport devices and it will also receive direct benefits from yearly maintenance as all the other SME partners.

4. ELITAC–The Netherlands

ELITAC

Business activities: ELITAC, located in Haarlem the Netherlands, was founded in 2009. The company is a Human Factors research oriented SME, with a strong vision for knowledge application in the operational field. ELITAC works at the border of knowledge development and application. This is done by adding operational experience in research & development and working from a user point of view. Expertise in research as well as in the operational field allows a full understanding of both worlds and enables an optimal communication between both. Areas of interest are user interfaces (visual as well as tactile), user centered design, complex real world experiments, process control rooms and adaptive support.

Main role in the consortium: Besides supervising, their role comes at the phase of tactile belt research and manufacturing. They will strongly cooperate with IBV while they are working on the development of the tactile belt. ELITAC has already developed tactile devices but none of them was for the blind. The partners chose ELITAC to be the Exploitation Manager due to its linking role in the Consortium. They will be responsible for ensuring fluent communication between the partners in the consortium and implementing the external communication strategy to encourage the exploitation) and communicate with the end-user parties.

Expected benefits: The company would like to benefit from new knowledge in man-machine interaction, user interface design, mobile device application development, computer graphics and intends to open to new markets in Europe. Their direct benefit is awaited from the selling of tactile belt and the maintenance and installation of the system.

5. Eneso Tecnología de Adaptación S.L. – Spain

ENESO

Business activities: Eneso develops, manufactures and sells assistive technology for people with disabilities. They also act as distributors in Spain for other vendors, in some cases with exclusivity agreements. They sell within Spain via their website and direct sale, and in other European countries with distributors. Research and development is done in-house with their own resources, and manufacturing is subcontracted. Their product range includes computer access systems for people with reduced mobility or mental disabilities, sensory stimulation, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). One of their products, enPathia, which allows people with reduced or null mobility in their upper limbs to control a computer, is a patented invention.

Main role in the consortium: Eneso will distribute the BLINDTRACK system. They have a deep knowledge of the accessibility market in Spain, so they will be very active promoting and placing the system. They will also contribute their experience by testing and validating the product. In the region they will also do the yearly maintenance of the system.

Expected benefits: Eneso expects that the possibility of distributing such an innovative product as the BLINDTRACK system will put them in a more favourable position within their market and will help them increase their share. It will also keep them in the first line of innovation in assistive technology.

6. ADAPTOR- ADAPTOR HJELPEMIDLER AS / Norway 

ADAPTOR

Business activities: ADAPTOR was established in 1971 by the Norvegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted with the aim to help the visually impaired find work. At the moment they have two main fields of activities: besides providing vocational rehabilitation services they offer a wide range of products (1200) from talking watches, audio systems, telephones, Braille equipment to ordinary kitchen tools customized to the needs of people with low vision. The technical department houses a wareshop, a shop and a showroom as well with clients from all over Norway. The Honefoss department operates a vocational business enterprise with 28 people of various disabilities, mainly visually impaired being employed.

Main role in the consortium: ADAPTOR will play a significant role in the consortium as the employer of visually impaired and distributor of assistive products and will be able to provide the research partners with tangible information on the needs of the market and assist field testing. At the same time through their market leader position (no other competitor can offer their total range of products) they will help the dissemination and exploitation of project results. 

Expected benefits: ADAPTOR will be one of the distributors of the product which means they will be able to extend their range of products and help them fulfil their vision of providing quality life for the visually impaired through their cutting-edge technology. Though this “product” is a completely different one, since it is offered to the visually impaired through sport centres, therefore, ADAPTOR will open to a completely new market segment and will benefit from the distribution, maintenance of the system similar to the other partners.

B1.1.1 RTD participants

1.ATEKNEA – ATEKNEA Solutions Hungary Kft. /Hungary

Imprimir

Business Activities: ATEKNEA as a private research organisation is involved in numerous research projects funded by the European Union and is the coordinator of several FP6 and FP7 research projects. ATEKNEA boasts a multidisciplinary research scope and an aim to foment and raise R&D activity in their region with a significant focus on innovative technologies in the IT and electronics sector. ATEKNEA’s main researchers come from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and they cooperate with other research institutions not only in Hungary but also in Europe.

Research Activities: ATEKNEA’s research activity is based on electronics, mechanics, telecommunications and information technologies, and their application to industrial environments. ATEKNEA has a team of experts for electronics design and development. Among the EC projects they are involved in the successful and presently running TACMON 2 project and DIGIGLASSES which target the visually impaired and its aim is to better their quality of life. ATEKNEA will ensure to exploit the synergies and bridge the initiatives. (TACMON – Development of a low-cost Graphical Tactile Monitor capable to display graphical information as advanced user interface for visually impaired persons’, DIGIGLASSES – Development of 3D digital glasses for enhancing mobility of visually impaired people to open strategic product lines for participant SMEs). It is important to highlight that in many of the projects they fulfil (apart from their research obligations) dissemination roles within Eastern Europe.

Role in the Consortium: ATEKNEA as the coordinator of the project will lead WP10 and be responsible to ensure fluent project flow. They will also be the leader of WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP7 –. They will also participate in WP1, WP5, WP6, WP8 and WP9.

Expected Benefits: ATEKNEA´s aim is to promote applied research and technical development, and to create advanced market products, procedures and services. As a research organisation they will not share in the post project exploitation or own any IPR.

9. Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS –Germany

FRAUNHOFER

Research Activities: Fraunhofer IIS researchers develop microelectronic systems and devices along with the required integrated circuits and software. Fraunhofer IIS is recognized for its research programs into microelectronics, information technology, telecommunications, audio and multimedia technology, digital radio, digital cinema, RF technology, satellite navigation, medical engineering, logistics, and mechanical and industrial automation. The researchers develop wireless communication systems, particularly digital broadcasting systems, as prototypes ready to go into commercial production.

Role in the Consortium: The Institute has a first prototype research result, called RedFIR® know-how and experience that is a state-of-the-art wireless tracking technology that locates people and objects in real time and with high precision. Its main role is to select the best fitting localization technology for a successful project. Compared to current video-based approaches, this radio-based technology offers a major advantage: its tracking capability is not diminished by obstacles obscuring the line of sight. The RedFIR® real-time tracking system is more responsive, accurate and flexible than any comparable technology. Position data is made available in fractions of a second and automatically analysed using pattern recognition and event detection methods. User-specific data preparation and visualization modes are provided in real time. It has an accuracy of a few centimetres, making event detection results and automatically generated statistics highly reliable. In the consortium Fraunhofer will develop a system based on RedFIR® but fulfilling the special needs of visually impaired people and find out a solution that is still affordable and marketable with not forgetting the basic need: maximum accuracy with minimum price.

Expected Benefits: The Institute has more than 15 years of experience in developing radio based localisation systems. The aim is to customize one of their technology prototypes (here BlackFIR) as a pilot system for more visibility in industrial market. BlackFIR® has astonishing capabilities but it is still in a prototype version because of the investment needs and retail price of the project. With the participation in BLINDTRACK it hopes to deliver a working prototype for consortium SMEs that can be taken to the market easier. As a research organisation they will not share in the post project exploitation or own any IPR. Moreover this project could offer further visibility in European companies and open new possibilities for industrial contracts

8. IBV- Biomechanics Institute of Valencia-Spain

IBV

Research Activities: The Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (IBV – Biomechanics Institute of Valencia) is a technological centre that studies the behaviour of the human body and its interaction with products, environments and services. Founded in 1976 the Institute is currently coordinated under the agreement of the Valencian Institute for Small and Medium Industry (IMPIVA) and the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). With the aim to improve competitiveness among the business sector, the IBV promotes people’s well-being through the combination of knowledge in areas such as biomechanics, ergonomics and emotional engineering, and its application to diverse sectors. The employees of the institute are mostly well-educated technical engineers or medical engineers, working on biomechanics, ergonomics and emotional engineering and its application to diverse sectors.

Role in the Consortium: The institute will do research to understand the tactile sensing and the perception mechanism in different conditions. Measurements will be taken to define the sensitivity of the skin from the density and the intensity point of view as well. They should find the optimal sensing positions on the perimeter of the trunk to feel directions with confidence and define the number of the vibrating elements on the belt, and their control to guide a person to the direction we intend to. They have to cooperate closely withEneso in order to manufacture a defined number of prototypes for testing. A continuous cooperation with the control and communication circuit designer RTD during the control circuit development is also essential.

Expected Benefits: They have already worked on projects for blind people and tested tactile aids for walking and ready to exploit their expertise in BLINDTRACK. They expect to deliver a working prototype for the consortium SMEs at the end of the project. As a research organisation they will not share in the post project exploitation or own any IPR.

7. Other – Budapesti Sportszolgáltató Központ (BSK)

BSK Logo

Business activities: The facility is a partly-independent athletic center, owned by the local municipality of Budapest. It has a 400m running track, where blind people run with guidance one by one or in groups. It intends to develop its services to visually impaired people since the athletic field developed a lot in the previous years with the exception of blind running services. Furthermore, it offers other sport activities such as football, basketball, handball, fitness and recreation.
Role in consortium: During the project preparation and implementation it will help with practical advices of blind running behaviour and critical points of their secure training. In the testing phase it will make the field available and will actively take part in the validation and dissemination.

Expected Benefits: They hope for a secure and well-working equipment that will make them possible to offer a high level service for the visually impaired and also for the sighted athletes. Easing the runners’ trainings shall attract new clients from the community of visually impaired sportsmen. Introducing the system will result in a higher annual income. The facility will receive the first prototype after a year that is needed for the other partners to introduce the system to potential end-users and will gain reputation from its CSR activity.