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'[EE]: Bleepers for visually impaired dressage ride'
2001\10\28@185439 by Brent Brown

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Dear PIClist,

Myself and a colleague have been asked to do some research on
the development of an electronic device to aid visually impaired
horse riders in riding a dressage event. I decided to ask here
because of the technical interest of the project and because of the
knowledgeable and experienced audience.

A rider and horse perform in an arena of 20 x 40 or 20 x 60m size.
Rules allow for a human caller to call instructions, and for human
markers to call out a letter indicating a position on the perimiter. We
envisage that an electronic system could replace each of the
human markers and be controlled by the caller. Each electronic
device would beep, bleep or speak appropriately for it's position
when commanded to. Lot's of potential here for some really cool
PIC stuff: recorded voice, wireless data comms, etc.

Firstly we are interested in finding out whatever we can about any
existing systems. If it's already been done then there may be no
need to develop anything else, but so far we haven't been able to
find anything. If anyone out there has any pointers to such
equipment or similar we would be grateful.

Thanks in advance, Brent.

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  spam_OUTbrent.brownTakeThisOuTspamclear.net.nz

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2001\10\28@212837 by Russell McMahon

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{Quote hidden}

Rules, being what they are, may not allow it, but it seems to me that GPS
(carried by the rider) could do quite a good job here if permitted.
Certainly differential GPS would be excellent but even standard accuracy
could be adequate.
If you used GPS for gross position and then added some device that gave you
proximity to the nearest boundary device you could use the GPS to work out
gross position and sentinel to refine it. The whole could be fed audibly to
the user either on request or as a continuous stream.


       Russell McMahon

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2001\10\28@215256 by Brent Brown

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Russel wrote:
> Rules, being what they are, may not allow it, but it seems to me that
> GPS (carried by the rider) could do quite a good job here if
> permitted. Certainly differential GPS would be excellent but even
> standard accuracy could be adequate. If you used GPS for gross
> position and then added some device that gave you proximity to the
> nearest boundary device you could use the GPS to work out gross
> position and sentinel to refine it. The whole could be fed audibly to
> the user either on request or as a continuous stream.

Whatever we come up we may even be able to get the rules
changed to allow it, as long as it is fair for all contestants.

We thought about GPS and several other position sensing methods,
but really that's all more complicated than what is needed. There
pretty much has to be a caller person there anyway for safety sake,
so they can just through a switch to switch on one beeper at a time.

A fully automatic system would need to know each individual riders
intended path to determine which location beacon/bleeper to
activate next. This could get real tricky to include things like when
the rider faults and is instructed to restart from a given point by the
judge.

I'm interested to see what other people have come up with already.

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  .....brent.brownKILLspamspam.....clear.net.nz

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2001\10\31@125920 by Chris Carr

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You may like to talk to a Consultancy Firm call Generics
http://www.generics.co.uk/
who have an offshoot called Intrasonics (Search with Google)
quote from page 892 Electronics World December 2001
" an extension of the technology, using four loudspeakers,
enable a receiver with a single microphone to locate itself
physically whin two inches in an encoded sound field" so with
a loudspeaker in each corner of the arena......

Regards
Chris Carr

{Original Message removed}


'[EE]: Bleepers for visually impaired dressage ride'
2001\11\04@150412 by Brent Brown
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Chris Carr wrote:
> You may like to talk to a Consultancy Firm call Generics
> http://www.generics.co.uk/
> who have an offshoot called Intrasonics (Search with Google)
> quote from page 892 Electronics World December 2001
> " an extension of the technology, using four loudspeakers,
> enable a receiver with a single microphone to locate itself
> physically whin two inches in an encoded sound field" so with
> a loudspeaker in each corner of the arena......

Thanks Chris, that *sounds* real interesting. We had discussed all
kinds of ultrasonic and other methods of position sensing but hadn't
come across this one. Even tried to find out the range of hearing of
a horse, apparently approx 55 - 33,500Hz. Probably won't go down
that track now, will just rely on a person to activate the beepers in
the correct sequence by manual remote control. Most likely the
beepers will actually be playing back recorded voice, like "A", "B" or
"C" etc.

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  brent.brownspamspam_OUTclear.net.nz

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2001\11\05@001603 by Chris Carr

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Brent Brown wrote


> Chris Carr wrote:
> > You may like to talk to a Consultancy Firm call Generics
> > http://www.generics.co.uk/
> > who have an offshoot called Intrasonics (Search with Google)
> > quote from page 892 Electronics World December 2001
> > " an extension of the technology, using four loudspeakers,
> > enable a receiver with a single microphone to locate itself
> > physically whin two inches in an encoded sound field" so with
> > a loudspeaker in each corner of the arena......
>
> Thanks Chris, that *sounds* real interesting. We had discussed all
> kinds of ultrasonic and other methods of position sensing but hadn't
> come across this one. Even tried to find out the range of hearing of
> a horse, apparently approx 55 - 33,500Hz. Probably won't go down
> that track now, will just rely on a person to activate the beepers in
> the correct sequence by manual remote control. Most likely the
> beepers will actually be playing back recorded voice, like "A", "B" or
> "C" etc.
>
Thanks for the feedback Brent. Particularly the titbit of info
on a horses hearing range. Earlier this year we had a problem on an
amplifier installed at one of the local equestrian centres, it
was going unstable and oscillating at around 20 - 25kHz. The report
we had was "When we switch the arena amplifier on some of the
horses start acting up". Perhaps we should have "sounded" out an
expert such as a vet before we dismissed it as a weird customer
complaint.

I have some more info on the generics system. It would appear to use a
similar
system to that which Dolby, MP3, Minidisc et al use to reduce data rates but
in reverse. Whereas those systems use the effect to eliminate signals this
uses it to mask the data "noise" by hiding it below larger signals.
Watch out for toys that "interact" with the television or a CD
probably in time for next Christmas.....err sorry thats an "...ist"
description, next Winter Holiday. Damn that's a hemisphericalist
description.

Regards
Chris Carr

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2001\11\11@143414 by Martin G. McCormick

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       There is an organization in San Francisco, California or
vicinity called the Smith-Kettlewell or maybe just Smith
Kettlewell Institute that has developed a system of talking signs
for blind pedestrians which uses infrared light transmitters and
receivers.

       The pedestrian carries a pager-sized infrared receiver
which looks for a FM carrier on an infrared light source just
like some cordless headphones.  The transmitters have lenses
which aim the light in a specific direction so that the person
using the system only hears the signal when he or she is directly
in front of the doorway or bus stop bench.

       Such a system might be useful for the dressage event.

       I saw a video on the use of the system a few years ago
and it was pretty impressive.

       We thought about having such a system installed at
Oklahoma State University, but decided against it due to start-up
costs and the number of widely-spaced buildings that would need
multiple transmitters in order to make the system effective plus
the low number of totally blind students we have here.

       The little transmitters contain one of those sound
storage chips that hold a few seconds of audio so the user
hears something like "Student Union Northwest door" repeatedly
when in range.

       Even if one doesn't use the Smith Kettlewell system, the
idea is sound and it shouldn't bother the horses either.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
OSU Center for Computing and Information Services Network Operations Group

Chris Carr writes:
>Thanks for the feedback Brent. Particularly the titbit of info
>on a horses hearing range. Earlier this year we had a problem on an
>amplifier installed at one of the local equestrian centres, it
>was going unstable and oscillating at around 20 - 25kHz. The report

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2001\11\11@154649 by Brent Brown

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Martin G. McCormick wrote:
> ......There is an organization in San Francisco, California or
> vicinity called the Smith-Kettlewell or maybe just Smith
> Kettlewell Institute that has developed a system of talking signs for
> blind pedestrians which uses infrared light transmitters and
> receivers....

Thanks Martin, its sounds really interesting. I'll follow this one up
and see what we can learn from it.

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile/text: 025 334 069
eMail:  KILLspambrent.brownKILLspamspamclear.net.nz

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2001\11\12@213953 by Martin G. McCormick

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       I have a pair of infrared headphones that use carriers in
the 2.5 MHZ range and they work quite well up to 10 meters or so.
If there is sunshine entering the room, the Sun decreases the
range by jamming the receiver with noise, but the headphones
still work, just not as well.
Brent Brown writes:
{Quote hidden}

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