Zhigang Zhu's expertise in human-computer interaction
and computer vision, Prof.
Xiao's expertise in robotic navigation, and Prof.
Tony Ro's expertise in cognitive neuroscience
particularly in perception and action, we have expanded their research focus to developing advanced human
centric assistive systems to help people in need, e.g.
visually impaired people, to achieve
independent and quality life in familiar or unfamiliar
environments. We have collaborations with the Computer Center for
Visually Impaired People (CCVIP) at CUNY
Baruch College, the NYS Commission for the Blind
and Visually Handicapped (CBVH), and the New York Institute of Special
Education. Their feedback could help
us to develop
compact, lightweight, inexpensive devices or services to
improve the quality of life of people, particular those in
We have developed a
cross-department joint senior design course for
undergraduate seniors in CS, CpE and EE as well as
independent study students in Psy in developing automated
and assistive technologies for smart living of all.
These include: multimodal, passive and unobtrusive
techniques for helping visually impaired people to achieve
independent travel in unfamiliar environments; smart house
systems and mobile apps for improving the quality of life;
and sensing technologies for health monitoring and
rehabilitation .We have obtained NCIIA funding support
funding support to carry out basic research and to run
the cross-department joint
senior design program for CS/CpE/EE seniors. The joint senior design program
builds on our existing capstone design course structure in
CS and EE departments, but with a new concentration on assistive technology for
people in need.
In each year, the joint senior design course is a mandated two semester sequence for senior students in both CS and EE departments. In the first semester we will offer lectures on basic technologies in sensors, actuators, robotic navigation, vision algorithms, and assistive technologies by the instructors. The general lectures will introduce important aspects of a business plan such as project management, intellectual property (IP), entrepreneurship. In addition, the lecture series on entrepreneurship at GSoE will be utilized where professionals are invited to share their real world experiences.
In the second part of the first semester, under the guidance of the instructors, the undergrad seniors will form teams to survey the state-of-the-art technologies in several challenges areas (i.e., multimodal sensing approaches, assistive technologies, and mobile apps), perform patent searches, conduct marketing analyses, and write project proposals which shall include design ideas, a reasonable budget, a management plan with milestones, and a business plan. CS/CpE/EE/Psy students are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams and work collaboratively to contribute their different expertise in the projects. The faculty mentors will review the proposals and give senior design students feedback to refine their projects
In the second semester,
the student teams are expected to implement design ideas,
prototype, test, and evaluate different designs. Students will also have the opportunities to
perform usability study on vision impaired users in
collaboration with NYS CBVH therefore better understanding
their needs to improve the designs and to create more
appropriate business plans.
The prominent teams with innovative ideas/technology and good business plans will be recommended to compete for the Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship and NCIIA E-TEAM Competition. The winning teams will be supported to continue the effort in summer and beyond.
Project Reports of Past Capstone Students (link to the list - internal use only)
Additional Reading on Assistive Technologies for Visually Impaired (link to the list - internal use only)