This February five companies – IBM Japan, Mitsubishi, Alps Aline, Omron and Shimizu – have established the consortium that aims to develop AI-powered robotic suitcase to assist visually impaired passengers during their travels and for city navigation:

“The consortium will work to develop an AI suitcase, an integrated solution that will help the visually impaired to get around town independently, by supplementing visual information by combining the latest AI with robotics”

The devise will help visually impaired travellers to find an optimal travel road, using maps, location, video and sensor information, necessary to avoid obstacles. It is also expected that the robot will help visually impaired people lead more inclusive life, navigating them on where to join the line or what shops and cafes are around.

The consortium plans to run the first public pilot already this summer, to “identify the requirements for social implementation” with an “aim to achieve a solution that resolves transport and communication issues for the visually impaired”.

In the meantime, as Future Time previously reported, Spanish researchers are experimenting with brain implants that let blind people see.

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