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PROJECTS ArduinoGravityBluetooth

How to Make a Smart Blind Stick

DFRobot Jul 03 2019 695

A low-cost stick designed for blind people that enables them to walk without any assistance.

This project is made by umesh dutta from hackster.

Things used in this project

Hardware components
Texas Instruments MSP-EXP430F5529LP MSP430 LaunchPad
SparkFun Ultrasonic Sensor - HC-SR04
HC-05 Bluetooth Module
DFRobot Gravity:Digital Push Button (Yellow)

Software apps and online services
Texas Instruments Energia
MIT App Inventor


All of the tasks that are performed by the visually impaired require a great deal of dedication and reliance on the other major human senses. So why not contribute to making things easier, by enabling them to do more, to making life a little more comfortable for them?

Our team used MSP430 to make the stick work. MSP430 is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. MSP430 boards are able to read inputs from Buttons and Various type of Sensors.

The HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor uses SONAR to determine the distance of an object just like the bats do. The stick also has a buzzer which beeps and alerts the user to obstacles. And it also contains a Panic Button which can share the alert message to the loved ones with the person’s location.

Step 1:
First to making the prototype to work, we used an external power supply.
We are using a power bank (same which used to charge the mobile phones). We can make it more efficient by adding other power supplies like solar power or anything like that.

Step 2:
After powering the prototype, the guardian should make sure that the Bluetooth module of MSP430 should be connected to the Android smartphone and the app should be enabled. When you enable the app you should give it mandatory permissions like Location Sensing (to share the location of the stick holder), SMS sending (to enable the SMS feature of the prototype).

Step 3:

Based on the block diagram above, as you can see, this is how the device works. After MSP430 powered, the blind people can start using the Smart Blind Stick. Based on the observation on the traditional white cane, the blind people will always swing around the blind stick to get a confirmation on their surrounding. But, with Smart Blind Stick, it will help them to get notification on the obstacle by a sound generated by buzzer. The obstacle detected using ultrasonic sensor HC-SR04. It been attached at bottom of the stick. We are using PVC pipe because it is easier to carry due to it’s low weight.

Step 4:
Besides that, the Smart Blind Stick can provide longitude and latitude of the blind people location. This is because, the smartphone act as provider and provide GPS location forthis process. The push button is add-up to make the blind people easier to click the emergency button to inform the recipient that he/she already lost or in danger. By clicking it one or couple of times, the smartphone will sent a message informing that they need help and please search him based on the GPS and Google Map link. For this prototype, We are using specific length and the length of the detection can be alter in the code.

Step 5:
Last but not least, I hope that our prototype helps blind people during their journey of life.
Lookalike of App

1. It can’t detect stairs, pits.
2. External power source can be modified like solar panels.
3. If a person is blind and deaf then he/she can’t hear the sound.


The Smart Stick acts as a basic platform for the coming generation of more aiding devices to help the visually impaired to be more safe. It is effective and afford. It leads to good results in detecting the obstacles lying ahead of the user in a range of 50 cm.

This system offers a low-cost, reliable, portable, low-power consumption and robust solution for navigation with obvious short response time. Though the system is hard-wired with sensors and other components, it's light in weight. Further aspects of this system can be improved via wireless connectivity between the system components, thus, increasing the range of the ultrasonic sensor and implementing a technology for determining the speed of approaching obstacles.While developing such an empowering solution, visually impaired and blind people in all developing countries were on top of our priorities.

MIT App Inventor Block Code:

Demo Video:


const int trigPin = 37; const int echoPin = 36; const int buzzer = 23; const int bt=10; long duration; int distance; int safetyDistance; void setup() { Serial.begin(9600); pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT); pinMode(echoPin, INPUT); pinMode(buzzer, OUTPUT); pinMode(bt,INPUT); } void loop() { digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW); delayMicroseconds(2); digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH); delayMicroseconds(10); digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW); duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH); distance= duration*0.034/2; safetyDistance = distance; if (safetyDistance <= 50) { digitalWrite(buzzer, HIGH); } else { digitalWrite(buzzer, LOW); } if(digitalRead(bt)==HIGH) { Serial.println("a"); } delay(400); }