Blind Archery

Haptic Feedback System for Visually Impaired Archers

    Yes, the visually impaired do archery. A team of BioEngineering students at Imperial College London developped an initial concept to allow the visually impaired to do archery as part of the Sports Innovation Challenge funded by Rio Tionto. The initial concept was re-designed a full haptic feedback system to allow archers to feel where they hit their arrow on the target. This enables them to adjust their aim for their following shot.

    We designed the system in two parts. We created an image processing component that fed the coordinates of the arrows position to a 2 axis haptic feedback mechansim.
    We used 2 cameras and color identifiers on the arrow that allowed us to identify the X,Y coordinate on the target.
    We added pink or green neon colours to the arrow in order to provide high contrast to the target and background. This allowed us to filter the image and locate the pixel coordinates for each axis. Having a pixel coordinate for each camera meant that we could find the intersecting line projected from the camera along this pixel. We extracted the X and Y values of each pixel coordinate through a calibration phase.

    Each time the arrow hit the target, the image processing would be run and send x,y coordinates to the haptic feedback device. The device moved a solenoid along a scale model of the target for the visually impaired user to feel the position of their arrow on the target.

Feedback Device with layered silicone to provide 3d texture of the target

2 Axis Motor Control system

Solenoid on 2 axis for haptic feedback

Imperial College London
Bio Engineering - UROP

Collaborators   Kirubin Pillay + Georgia Nicholson

Duration   10 weeks

Date   July-Oct. 2012


  Yuki is an Innovation Designer and Technologist working on creating products and experiences that create positive futures. He is a Design Researcher at the EPFL+ECAL Lab, where he is working on Digital Innovation to bring emerging technologies from the research labs at EPFL to people who need it. Yuki is a graduate from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, holding an MA and MSc in Innovation Design and Engineering and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently pursing a Masters of Advanced Studies at EPFL and ECAL in Design Research in Digital Innovation. He is passionate about using Design Thinking and Human Centred Design to create positive impact. Since his childhood he was inspired by technology and design. He is also interested in start-ups and getting new ideas to market. He is a Design London Fellow, which allowed him to attend Executive MBA lectures at Imperial Business School and to work on projects along side MBA students. With the Lines team he was fortunate to attend the European Innovation Academy and the Intel Make it Wearable Challenge to learn about patents, marketing, business and design.