June 22, 2024

Baypid sends AI assistants for the blind to take on a collective challenge

Biped has been selected for this year’s Collegiate Challenge Accelerator Program. A startup from western Switzerland is developing a kind of harness for blind and partially sighted people that can use artificial intelligence to recognize obstacles – and that’s just the beginning.

Mass-Challenge Switzerland recently announced the startups that will participate in this year’s accelerator program. Lausanne-based startup Biped is among the 10 or so startups in the health tech sector. According to Mass-Challenge, it is developing an intelligent co-pilot for blind and visually impaired people that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize obstacles.

Biped founders Mael Fabien (CEO) and Bruno Vollmer (CTO) explain on their website that they want to create an innovation that will change the lives of people with visual impairments and enable them to explore new places completely independently and safely. And independently to discover.

The co-pilot they are considering should be similar to the driving co-pilots used in self-driving vehicles. In fact, the startup is also working with the Honda Research Institute to develop its invention. One day, the device should not only recognize obstacles, but also read text, recognize faces or certain pedestrian crossings, and offer indoor navigation. Later, Biped’s founders hope their technology will be able to support users when they’re running or skating.

Their device is “a strap on the shoulders and equipped with two ultra-wide-angle cameras on the left side of the chest, a battery in the back of the neck, and a small computer on the right side of the chest,” according to the site. Computational models of object detection identify obstacles (static or moving) and predict collision risk. The user is warned with an audio signal via a Bluetooth headset.

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Biped presented its invention at CES 2022, among other places. You can read and see other Swiss startups featured here.