Artificial intelligence for the hearing and visually impaired

AI technologies that help visually impaired people to find their way safely and recognize the faces of their friends and relatives, and the hearing impaired to communicate without using sign language have won the Smart.AI&Data competition by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. The smart assistant Robin for the visually impaired and the Charlie speech recognition device were developed by Moscow’s Sensor-Tech Lab. Its researchers, engineers and medical developers are engaged in developing innovations for people with disabilities.

Robin is a smart device for the blind; it helps them find their way in the city, tells them about the distance to obstacles and names the surrounding things. The device can find main everyday objects at home (such as dishes, hygienic means, electronic devices) and on the street. In particular, it can read road signs, suggest on how to walk around a parked car, etc. It can recognize faces in a matter of seconds. The device downloads photos of people from various angles and assigns them voice marks. The user points the device at the person and Robin will call their name. The device does not require internet access.

Charlie is a device that uses AI to convert speech into text and display it on a smartphone or computer. Charlie displays recognized speech so that the hearing impaired person can read the words of the person they are talking to without asking for help. The device is often used at home to communicate with the family, as well as in public places such as banks, hospitals and railway stations.

The Agency for Strategic Initiatives selected 169 developments, and Smart.AI&Data experts picked 55 solutions that use AI and data analysis on anti-crisis measures.

“The agency plans to help the selected projects with promotion and introduction of these practices in Russian regions. It was exactly what our project needs today. Our devices make the life of people with disabilities easier. We hope that new mentors and partners will help us expand all over Russia,” Sensor-Tech Lab director Denis Kuleshov said.

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