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Computer simulator allows visually-impaired to drive
Date:10/16/2007

This release is available in Spanish.

A team of researchers from the University of Granada, in collaboration with the University of Murcia, has developed a visual aid device which significantly improves the vision of sight impaired patients; especially those suffering from pathologies with a slow progression that can eventually lead to blindness (such as Macular Degeneration, cataracts, etc.). This platform, called SERBA (in Spanish, Reconfigurable Electric-optical System for Low Vision), is the first visual aid unit which is very useful in all circumstances and for all tasks, independently of the degree of impairment of the patient. Up to now, in the majority of cases, people with impaired vision had to acquire various different devices to meet all their needs.

The main contribution of this project undertaken by M Dolores Pelez Coca and led by professors Fernando Vargas Martn and Eduardo Ros Vidal, all from the University of Granada is the implementation of a new optoelectronic platform (based on a reconfigurable device known as FPGA) which is easily reprogrammed so that it can be used in different circumstances. This device will help patients, among other things, to improve their vision when driving.

This platform, as the creator of the research explains, is based on the design of a real-time video processing system able to store several image processing algorithms. Thanks to the use of a FPGA it is a very flexible device which can be adapted to the users needs and to the evolution of their disease. Eight patients suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa (a visual impairment that reduces the field of vision) took part in the devices assessment, as well as six others with different pathologies that generate a loss of sharpness of vision.

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Contact: Dolores Pelez Coca
m-ola@confluencia.net
34-968-398-317
Universidad de Granada
Source:Eurekalert

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