[Noisebridge-discuss] Hacking something to work as both a walking stick & blind cane

Sai noisebridge at saizai.com
Sun May 25 16:25:22 UTC 2014


Occasionally (with increasing frequency of late) I get light
sensitivity that can be so severe I have to wear a full blindfold.

A new friend (who's blind) gave me a rather interesting crash course
in some of the navigational cues for navigation, which brought up a
lot to think about as noticing texture, smell, binaural sound, and so
forth that I don't normally notice.

However, it may be helpful for me to have a cane on me so that I can
walk around more easily while blindfolded if I have to. ambutech.com
makes some light ones (ID and slim line) but I think it's rare enough
usage for me that I'd want it to be more multifunctional.

Ideally, I'd like something that I could use as a hiking-type walking
stick (since episodes of weakness are even more frequent), that is
light and collapsible enough that I can stow it in my jacket and have
it on me at all times, and is also usable as a (light duty) blind
cane.

AFAICT the criterial parts for that last bit are that it has to have a
tip that's smooth and can sweep across surfaces well (like a hard
metal or plastic ball) and that it's significantly longer than a
walking stick (for adequate warning). Wrapping it with reflective
white / red tape would be simple and good for identification purposes.

I think it might be possible to achieve this with some modification of
extant ultralight telescoping hiking sticks (so it's anywhere in
length from mid-torso for walking to longer for sweeping) + a
different cane tip to put on when used for this.

I'm not sure, though. Suggestions appreciated.

- Sai


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