Chinese University Develops Six-Legged Guide Robot for Visually Impaired Individuals

In a groundbreaking development, a research team from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) has created a unique six-legged guide robot designed to assist visually impaired individuals. This innovative robot aims to address the shortage of guide dogs in China and provide a reliable solution for those in need.

According to the China Association of Persons with Visual Disabilities, there are approximately 17.31 million visually impaired individuals in China. However, due to high breeding costs and lengthy training periods, there are only around 400 guide dogs currently in service nationwide. This scarcity means that there is only one guide dog available for every 40,000 visually impaired individuals in the country.

The six-legged guide robot developed by SJTU offers advanced navigation and safety features, making it a valuable alternative to traditional guide dogs. With the ability to accurately recognize the speech of blind individuals and respond quickly, the robot can walk at speeds of up to three meters per second while maintaining stability and minimal noise.

One of the key features of the guide robot is its visual environmental perception capabilities, allowing it to navigate autonomously, avoid obstacles, and recognize traffic lights. Additionally, the robot can serve as a home companion and an emergency responder for blind individuals with the help of the internet.

To ensure effective communication with visually impaired users, the robot utilizes a multisensory perception system that combines natural language comprehension, speech recognition, and force-feedback canes for control. Advanced machine learning algorithms enable the robot to navigate complex environments, avoid obstacles, and provide a high level of stability and safety.

Currently undergoing field testing, the guide robot has already garnered significant interest, with orders for 20 units received. Researchers are optimistic about its potential impact on the market and believe that it will soon be available to assist visually impaired individuals in their daily lives.

During a recent field test along the Yangpu River in Shanghai, a visually impaired individual named Li Fei experienced the guide robot’s capabilities firsthand. Li praised the robot for its fluid movements and ability to guide her more effectively than she could on her own, highlighting the impact of this innovative technology on the lives of visually impaired individuals.

With its advanced features, stability, and reliability, the six-legged guide robot developed by SJTU represents a significant advancement in assistive technology for the visually impaired. As researchers continue to refine and improve the robot, it holds great promise for enhancing the independence and quality of life for those in need of assistance.