Computer Simulator for the Visually Impaired

The device, known as SERBA (in Spanish, Reconfigurable Electric-Optical System for Low Vision) is a reconfigurable platform, which will be updateable via the Internet. It is especially useful for pathologies that can lead to blindness like Macular Degeneration, cataracts, Retinitis Pigmentosa etc.

The main contribution of this project is the implementation of a new optoelectronic platform (based on a reconfigurable device known as FPGA) which is easily reprogrammed. This device could help patients, among other things, to improve their vision when driving. This platform is based on the design of a real-time video processing system able to store several image processing algorithms.

The program is stored in the internal memory of the prototype board and the selection of the dump algorithm in the FPGA is carried out automatically. In this way, the images are shown in a transparent viewfinder, similar to those used in the army. With this system, there is no need to purchase a new platform so as to adapt it to the changes that are produced in the disease’s development; it is enough simply to update the programmes recorded in the device’s memory. This update can be carried out through the Internet, so the support and travelling expenses can be reduced considerably.

The main advantage of SERBA is that it is easily reconfigured and that it also includes light low-cost cameras, real time image processing and transparent portable viewfinders. The visual aid system has contributed to the creation of bioptical telescopes, anamorphic systems and inverted telescopes that magnify the patient’s visibility as it implements zoom lens effects, edge enhancement and edge multiplexing to expand the field of vision. Moreover, a driving video game has been developed to simulate the visual aids previously mentioned.

COMPAMED.de; Source: University of Granada