Walking Simulator used swivel chair for blind children


Yuko Shimomura, Advanced Manufacturing Technology Institute, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan


We are building a walking practice system for blind children. In order for blind children to walk alone, they need to be able to create a mental map in their mind. To develop this ability, we constructed a system in which a blind child walks on a road in VR. In reality, the blind child sits on a swivel chair and only moves his/her legs. However, since the blind child walks on various roads in VR, the blind child’s ability to create a mental map improves. This way, the blind child is safe and only one support person is needed. The system configuration is as follows. As input/output devices, MetaQuest2 and a microswitch for judging footsteps were used. The simulation system was built with the game engine Unity. Environmental sounds were output using the stereophonic SDK. White canes and Braille blocks were also used in VR to inform the user of the surrounding environment through sound and vibration. We believe it is also important for children to practice walking while having fun.