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Conference Papers Year : 2017

INSPEX: Integrated Smart Spatial Exploration System


There has been a very large amount of work done in recent years on obstacle avoidance systems for autonomous vehicles. To detect different types of obstacles across the full range of possible lighting and weather conditions, these obstacle detection systems typically combine multiple subsystems including LiDAR, radar, IR and optical. The data from these subsystems is integrated and combined with vehicle orientation (typically an IMU and compass) and navigation subsystems. As the image above shows, these systems are typically large, heavy and have high power consumption. The question the INSPEX partners have asked themselves is “what if we could miniaturise an obstacle detection system like this and reduce its power so that it could be portable/wearable?” This is very challenging but it would open many new applications in, for example, assistive guidance for the visually impaired, human guidance in low visibility conditions (night, smoke, fog) obstacle detection for small or humanoid robots, and small drone obstacle detection for obstacle avoidance procedures. This encapsulates the objective of INSPEX: to combine LiDAR, UWB RF radar and ultrasonic range sensing with an IMU, environmental sensing, signal and data processing, wireless communications, energy harvesting and user interface; all in a miniature, low power, small size, light weight system, with a flexible system integration methodology that will allow the INSPEX smart spatial exploration system to be applied to a range of different application areas. As a demonstrator, INSPEX partners have chosen an application of obstacle detection for the visually impaired and blind (VIB) community with the objective of integrating the INSPEX system into a standard white cane. This will allow the cane to detect various kind of obstacles (shape, material, colour, height) and alert the user of their location using 3D spatial audio feedback. The cane will also be able to interact with the wider Internet-of-Things environment surrounding the user. Other potential application domains for the INSPEX smart spatial exploration system will also benefit from INSPEX system and submodules low cost and low-power. In particular, drones and robots might adopt the INSPEX system as an add-on system to sense their surroundings at low cost and with low power budget.
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cea-01571082 , version 1 (01-08-2017)


  • HAL Id : cea-01571082 , version 1


Suzanne Lesecq, Laurent Ouvry, Marc Correvon, Gabriela Dudnik, John Barrett, et al.. INSPEX: Integrated Smart Spatial Exploration System. Smart System Integration, Mar 2017, Cork, Ireland. ⟨cea-01571082⟩
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