Success! You're on the list.

Success! You're on the list.

This smart cane scores £1.7M funding for assisting visually impaired with obstacle detection, turn-by-turn navigation and more

London-headquartered WeWALK, which wants to provide better mobility to the visually impaired community, has scored £1.7 million funding. The investment came from UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) which also backed Lifted recently.

‘Designed for Ageing’ funding

The Designed for Ageing funding is delivered on behalf of UKRI as part of the Healthy Ageing Challenge. Led by Jean Marc Feghali, WeWALK’s head of R&D, the WeWALK team, Imperial College London and the RNIB have teamed up to use the funds to focus on promoting the widespread use of computer vision-aided navigation, including environmental mapping and situational awareness.

The project team intends to build on existing WeWALK architecture and develop new technology that is accessible and easier to use for key target groups. This project aims to enhance the lives of up to 253 million visually impaired and 700 million older people worldwide.

WeWALK co-founder Kürşat Ceylan said: “We are delighted and excited to be embarking on this new project with our partners, thanks to the support of UKRI. Computer vision has limitless potential in solving mobility problems experienced by visually impaired and older people, from identifying landmarks to navigating complex spaces. Our specialist knowledge and that of our partners, which have an in-depth understanding of overcoming the barriers to using mobility technology, provide an ideal platform in developing new and effective solutions.”

Professor Washington Ochieng, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, said: “The Design for Ageing Project will enable us to turn the dream of a seamless fully automated navigation system into a reality and transform the quality of life for visually impaired and elderly people. Throughout this ground-breaking project, we will be using some of the most sophisticated sensing and analytics technology including AI and machine learning to deliver on our ambitions.”

Robin Spinks, principal manager of digital accessibility at RNIB, said: “We’re delighted to be working with WeWALK and Imperial College London on this exciting project which gives us an immense opportunity to enhance navigation for people with sight loss.”

George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing challenge director at UK Research and Innovation, said: “Many of us are living for longer and want to make the most of the opportunities in later life, which can include continuing to work and volunteer. Despite this, the market for products and services which genuinely meet the needs of older people is underdeveloped.”

WeWALK’s smart cane!

Founded by Gokhan Mericliler and Kürşat Ceylan in 2017 in London, WeWALK is developing visually impaired technology such as audio description in movie theatres to an award-winning indoor navigation system.

It has launched software-enabled products that have transformed mobility for people with visual impairments. One of the offerings is Smart Cane, which uses a front-mounted ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles and warn users with the help of vibration feedback.

WeWALK Smart Cane is produced in Vestel City, one of the world’s biggest industrial complexes in the world operating on a single field. The Smart Cane can be paired with the companion smartphone app to provide users with accessible voice-guided navigation.

Related Posts

Get daily funding news briefings in the tech world delivered right to your inbox.

Enter Your Email
join our newsletter. thank you