Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Koorosh Naghshineh

Second Advisor

Bade Shrestha


The most commonly used tool for navigation by the blind is the white cane. A greater understanding is essential in improving the design and performance of these canes. An existing cane was modified with integrated force and acceleration sensors, in order to study the relation between cane vibration characteristics and obstacle or drop-off detection. Data was gathered by these sensors, and then transmitted wirelessly to a computer workstation, where it was recorded and analyzed. Exertion of the forearm muscles was also measured. Care was taken to insure that the cane sensors and transmitter are ergonomically unobtrusive for the user. The accuracy of the force, vibration, and muscular data was verified using laboratory test cases, and preliminary results were collected during actual navigation conducted using this instrumented cane.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access