The Science of Sustainability

Glove with Sonar Helps the Blind Navigate

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Photo of "Tacit" by Steve Hoefer

Tacit is a sonar-enabled glove that helps the blind to detect when objects are nearby. Developed by local maker, Steve Hoefer, Tacit uses sound navigation and ranging to depress pads which alert wearers of their surroundings.

Built using an Arduino Pro, servos and a whole lot of ingenuity, Steve provides the complete instructions for making Tacit on his blog.

Tacit was developed with both form and function in mind. The first prototype was built as a headband, but as Steve explains on his blog, this couldn't work in the long term. Most serious obstacles to the blind occur closer to waist level and "vibrating motors stuck on your skull will drive you insane quickly". Having never placed a set of vibrating motors on my head, I am sadly without first hand experience (though the thought alone gives me a headache).

Steve put together this awesome video explaining Tacit and how it can be used:

Project Tacit: Sonar For The Blind from Grathio Labs on Vimeo.

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Category: Engineering

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Laura Khalil

About the Author ()

Laura is a marketer by day and nerd by night. She's the Chief Nerd Herder for Dorkbyte, a blog devoted to art, technology and science. She's been named one of the most engaging women to speak about technology and has been featured on The Setup. A member of Noisebridge, she is working on two robotics challenges, leading a puzzle team that competes in a variety of puzzle challenges throughout the US and monkeys around on ham amateur radio. She loves astronomy, Making and hardware hacking. She was most recently involved in teaching hardware circuitry at Maker Faire.Laura has executed marketing strategies and campaigns for tech startups in the Bay Area. Her work with social media has been inducted into the Viral Marketing Hall of Fame.