Artha France

6th sense, a project for everyone's autonomy

The objective of the "6th sense" project is to develop a device allowing blind or visually impaired people to perceive their environment. Our goal is to achieve this by transmitting a picture to the visual cortex of the brain using skin sensors.

6th sense, a project for everyone's autonomy

The objective of the "6th sense" project is to develop a device allowing blind or visually impaired people to perceive their environment. Our goal is to achieve this by transmitting a picture to the visual cortex of the brain using skin sensors.

How does it work?

The images displayed on the lumbar belt can come from both the 3D sensors located on the glasses and the screen of a computer (functionality used among other things for training). They are then adapted for tactile restitution, then conveyed as sensory information by the nerves to the visual cortex of the brain. They will then be treated in the same way as if they came from the eyes. This new source of information is naturally interpreted whether one is blind from birth or not. The system adapts to each user and their level of control of the device. It works both indoors and outdoors, whether you are in the middle of nature or in the corridors of the metro at peak times.

Background

Progress

Proof of concept

Clinical trials using the first prototype allowed to validate the concept. In addition, the learning curve data retrieved allowed us to refine our training model in order to have a fast grip on the device.
January 2019

Wearable system

The second prototype, miniaturised and portable, allowed trials to be carried out in virtual environments (randomly generated labyrinths in the game Minecraft). It allowed to experiment movements and the sense of orientation.
October 2019

Outside testing

The third generation of the prototype allows the users to walk in the street, parks and indoors. Their movements are fluid thanks to a good perception of the world around them.
October 2020

Final product

The device will have a more discreet design and more accessible and modular software, all ready to be industrialised.

Learning

As with learning to read or ride a bike, a training phase is necessary to master the device. It will be done in complete safety and will teach the basics of vision through skin. Once these have been understood, the user will be autonomous and will continue to progress without realising it. The different learning phases are minimal perception (phase where the user becomes autonomous), then reduced mental load, very precise perception, almost zero mental load, and finally reflex perception. The learning starts in a virtual Minecraft world and continues in the real world.

The concept

Origins

Our work is based on Paul Bach Y Rita's research. He highligted the possibility to substitute the sense of sight by the sense of touch. Here is the device he used in the 80's for his experiment.

Our vision

To learn all about sense substitution, watch here our TEDx conference in Montansier theater in Versailles (France)

The project in videos

Feedback of Lucas

May 2022

Blindfolded driver on a track

June 2022

Feedback of Fabien, physiotherapist and legally blind by birth

Drawing is possible?

June 2022

Is it helpful to see at 10m?

May 2022

Full experience

May 2022

Blind driving in Trackmania

April 2022

Learn more

Feedback of Nicolas

May 2022

Presentation

2022

First driving test blindfold

April 2022

Blind driver on a track

May 2022

Team

The team

Rémi du
Chalard

Amaury
Buguet

Zacharie
Nataf

Francois
Outters

Alain
Salmon

Wandrille
du Chalard

Wandrille
du Chalard

Cosme
de Moucheron

Michel
Teyssedre

Roger
Pottlitzer

Raoul
Gilard

Marie
Peray

Geneviève
Chantepie

Marie
Peray

Geneviève
Chantepie

Smaël
Berahal

Scientific advisors

Alain
Ripart

Sylvie
Chokron

Hugues
de Montalembert

Malika
Auvray

Background

Support

Background