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Details

  • Name

    Hugo Ricardo Fernandes
  • Cluster

    Computer Science
  • Role

    Researcher
  • Since

    01st February 2014
Publications

2017

Assistive Platforms for the Visual Impaired: Bridging the Gap with the General Public

Authors
Rocha, T; Fernandes, H; Reis, A; Paredes, H; Barroso, J;

Publication
Recent Advances in Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 2 [WorldCIST'17, Porto Santo Island, Madeira, Portugal, April 11-13, 2017].

Abstract
The visual impaired are a specific minority group that can benefit from specific assistive systems in order to mitigate their mobility and accessibility constrains. In the last decade, our research group has been integrating and developing assistive technologies, focused in human-computer interaction, artificial vision, assisted navigation, pervasive computing, among others. Several projects and prototypes have been developed with the main objective of improving the blind’s autonomy, mobility, and quality of life. Currently the technology has reached a maturation point that allows the development of systems based on video capturing, image recognition and location referencing, which are key for providing features of artificial vision, assisted navigation and spatial perception. The miniaturization of electronics can be used to create devices such as electronic canes that equipped with sensors can provide so much more contextual information to a blind user. The adoption of these systems is dependent of an information catalogue regarding points of interest and their physical location reference. In this paper we describe the current work on assistive systems for the blind and propose a new perspective on using the base information of those systems to provide new services to the general public. By bridging the gap between the two groups, we expect to further advance the development of the current systems and contribute to their economic sustainability. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.

2017

Design of Geographic Information Systems to Promote Accessibility and Universal Access

Authors
Fernandes, H; Teixeira, R; Daniel, B; Alves, C; Reis, A; Paredes, H; Filipe, V; Barroso, J;

Publication
Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Human and Technological Environments - 11th International Conference, UAHCI 2017, Held as Part of HCI International 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 9-14, 2017, Proceedings, Part III

Abstract
Digital systems and solutions providing location based services for everyday activities are supported by geographic information systems that are typically problem-oriented. Although recently some approaches try to combine data from multiple sources to provide a better user experience, most often than not, these extra sources of input are not meaningful and act merely as an extension or augmentation of the user’s physical context, providing extra data that not always adds extra value to the service. In this work, a geographic information system that provides valuable data for multiple audiences, with different restrictions and requirements, is presented. This work also presents the concept of ‘awareness’, implemented using a hierarchical layering system. Using lists of information layers, together with an appropriate categorization of user requirements, the proposed information system can feed different final applications with different data, for different types of users, promoting accessibility and universal access. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.

2016

Combining NFC and 3D Mapping to Enhance the Perception of Spatial Location for the Blind

Authors
Rocha, T; Fernandes, H; Paredes, H; Barroso, J;

Publication
Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction: Users and Context Diversity, Pt III

Abstract
In this paper a 3D map solution combined with a mobile phone application is presented. This solution enables blind users to perceive their spatial location from tactile stimulation, but also contextual information from a mobile application that provides this information via mobile phone, using audio. In the proposed model, 3d map sections embedding NFC technology support the application scenario described in this work.

2016

Pervasive Crowd Mapping for Dynamic Environments

Authors
Paredes, H; Fernandes, H; Sousa, A; Filipe, V; Barroso, J;

Publication
PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON RECENT ADVANCES IN COMPUTER SYSTEMS

Abstract
There is a demand for new models of computation intelligence for the recognition of the environment and the obstacles in each moment and the sharing of this information with other users providing temporary dangers notifications, which can enhance blind navigation experience and autonomy. We identified an opportunity to contribute with an integrated strategy to develop a solution to improve the blind autonomy and quality of life. We are looking for solutions to problems that have emerged from the accumulated experience in blind navigation systems research. The main objective of this paper is to present a conceptual model that works based on data obtained from sensors on passive monitoring, worn by bystanders that can combine and correlate the inference patterns that match the obstacles and/or dangers. The model has retro-feedback mechanisms, allowing the sensors to search and pervasively validate the existence of obstacle, ensuring the temporary basis of these risks.

2016

Obstacle detection and avoidance module for the blind

Authors
Costa, P; Fernandes, H; Barroso, J; Paredes, H; Hadjileontiadis, LJ;

Publication
2016 WORLD AUTOMATION CONGRESS (WAC)

Abstract
Assistive technology enables people to achieve independence when performing daily tasks and it enhances their overall quality of life. Visual information is the basis for most navigational tasks, so visually impaired individuals are at disadvantage due to the lack of sufficient information about their surrounding environment. With recent advances in inclusive technology it is possible to extend the support given to people with visual disabilities in terms of their mobility. In this context we present and describe a wearable system (Blavigator project), whose global objective is to assist visually impaired people in their navigation on indoor and outdoor environments. This paper is focused mainly on the Computer Vision module of the Blavigator prototype. We propose an object collision detection algorithm based on stereo vision. The proposed algorithm uses Peano-Hilbert Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (PHEEMD) for disparity image processing and a two layer disparity image segmentation to detect nearby objects. Using the adaptive ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) image analysis real time is not achieved, with PH-EEMD results on a fast implementation suitable for real time applications.