Development of a Sensory Substitute through Air Jet Stimulation for Blind People

Yutaka Tanaka, Akio Gofuku, Makoto Iwakura, Itaru Hatayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Various types of visual substitutes have been developed for helping blind people to walk safely, and some of them have been applied in practice. However, most substitutes use stimulation elements which induce pain in users or occupy other important sense organs. In this study we attempted to develop a stimulation display which enables scenery recognition by the user by control of arrayed air jets. New ideas have been applied in this display considering portability, speedy judgment of obstacles, and long term use without fatigue, and in particular, the need for small size, light weight, high speed and low noise. A visual substitute was constructed by combining the stimulation display with a 3 D range finder. One important feature is that this substitute obtains distances in 8 directions and enables the user to perceive distance through his perception without using his ears and hands. Through walking and shape recognition tests the practicability of this visual substitute has been confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4423-4428
Number of pages6
Journaltransactions of the japan society of mechanical engineers series c
Issue number591
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Air Jet Stimulation
  • Electronic Equipment
  • Human Interface
  • Mechatronics and Robotics
  • Obstacle Detection
  • Seeing and Hearing Mechanism
  • Sensor
  • Sensory Substitute
  • Visual Display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a Sensory Substitute through Air Jet Stimulation for Blind People'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this