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August 3, 2009Students Develop Cane With E Tags to Guide BlindBy THE ASSOCIATED PRESSFiled at 3:33 p. m. ET DETROIT AP A cane equipped with the technology that retailers use totag merchandise could help blind people avoid obstacles. An engineering professor and five students at Central Michigan Universityhave created a ''Smart Cane'' to read electronic navigational tagsinstalledbetween buildings to aid the blind in reaching their destinations moreeasily. ''This project started as a way for me to teach students to see andunderstand the ways that engineering can be used for the greater good,''said Kumar Yelamarthi, the professor and project leader. ''We wanted to dosomething that would help people and make our campus more accessible. '' During the spring term, Yelamarthi and five senior engineering studentstested the cane, which is equipped with Radio Frequency Identificationtechnology, similar to what retailers put on products to keep them frombeing stolen. The Smart Cane contains an ultrasonic sensor that is paired with aminiaturenavigational system inside a messenger style bag worn across the shoulder. For the test, the students installed identification tags between twobuildings on the campus in Mount Pleasant, Mich. A speaker located on thebag strap gave audio alerts when the system detected an obstacle and toldthe user which direction to move. Students wearing glasses that simulate visual impairment tested the cane.

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htm . Chatham Kent News Daily Post Top of the day to you. I'm Donna J. Jodhan and this week I have some really challenging questions to answer. So, time to open our e bag and answer the top questions of the week. Please do not forget to keep sending your questions to me at or even if you wish to send me a comment offline: I'll be waiting.

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