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The Uno Cero consists of a soft, yet strong, body-fitting waistband. This band is worn around the waist by the buddy. Attached to the waistband are two sticks. These sticks are decorated in white and red, similar to the widely know look of a white cane. The red marking are made from reflective material, so the runners are noticeable in dim light as well. The sticks have upwards handles with grips. Two handles are right in front of the buddy, the others are located at the outer end of the sticks behind the buddy. The buddy will have the ability to quickly correct the runner via the handles right in front of him. The runner holds onto the grips on the other side of the sticks. The runner will run behind his buddy and be able to follow their movement via the sticks. The sticks are interconnected with a cord. If one of the sticks is dropped the runner can easily locate back to the grip via the cord.

The style of the Uno Cero is similar to a white cane so external viewers will be more likely to understand the situation of the users. Outsiders can take the impairment into account in tricky traffic situations for example. If a traffic situation requires extra control the buddy can use the handles in front of him to give corrections to the runner.


In the final prototype the product is made out of a weight-lifting band. This pre-made weightlifting band is chosen because of its strength, shock-breaking properties, ergonomic fit and suitability for sports. Attached to the band is a metal strip. This metal should prevent movement of the handles in a sideways direction. In the final product this prevention strip would be integrated into the waistband. The sticks are made from wood because this material is lightweight, strong and has low bending properties. In the final product the sticks could be made from aluminium or plastic. Aluminium and plastic are very lightweight but easier to shape into the handlebars. These materials can be treated such that they are suitable for outdoor use in various weather conditions.

The handlebars in the prototype are the same handlebars as found on bicycles. These handlebars are very close to the handlebars envisioned for the final prototype, aside from better integration and attachment to the sticks. In the final product all visible bolts, screws and nuts will be hidden. Besides not being able to see, the users may not feel any screws or material causing irritation during the run.


storyboard final concept.tif
concept movie


Before the final concept was established, multiple concepts have been made. Five different concepts were worked out in detail and turned into physical prototypes. Those prototypes were tested by our participant. After which the 'two tails' concept was chosen to iterate on. 


In its core, the 360 chestband is similar to a heartrate band sporters often use. It is made from an elastic material with a grip and worn around the ribcage. This specific chestband does not monitor heartrate but it monitors relative positioning. The chestband will be worn by the (blind) runner under their shirt. On the inner lining of the band are 4 vibrating motors. These vibrating motors will be placed on the skin. By vibrating in different configurations they will guide the blind runner to a position relative to their buddy. 

The chestband is equipped with 4 vibrating motors, one in the front, back, left and the right. If the runner deviates from its target path to the right, the motor on the right will vibrate ‘pushing’ the runner back to the path. If the runner falls behind pace the motor on the back will vibrate, cueing the runner to run faster. The motors on the left and front follow this same principle. If all four motors vibrate together, this calls for a full stop. 

Actions of the motor are driven by a chip which can be found in a watertight encapsulation on the right front side of the chest. It was chosen to put the chip in the front because it has to receive bluetooth signals from an external device. Bluetooth signals cannot go through the body.

The buddy will wear a yet to determine system upon which the chestband will act. The two most probable options are:

  • A handheld device, which functions as a remote control with which the buddy can activate the vibrations and thus guide the blind runner. 

  • A target, this could be a stripe or another mark. The blind runner will also need an additional camera or laser in this case. The camera or laser will automatically determine if the runner is still running according to the target. 


- Purely reliant on technology

- No ICE physical restriction

- Cues have to take running speed and reaction time into account for the band to function properly

- Trainer must look sideways or run after the runner if a remote is used

+ Freedom to move, no physical obstruction or connection



- Purely reliant on technology

- No ICE physical restriction

- Cues have to take running speed and reaction time into account

- Extra layer of clothing, very 'present'

+ Freedom to move, no physical obstruction or connection

+ Facilitates communication

+ Has a tempo and cadans indicator

+ Has ICE buttons


The harnas concept has some similarities with the chestband. This vest can be worn over your clothes while running. It has multiple features: A speaker and microphone to amplify speech and to indicate the tempo. In this way the users can run at the same pace. It also has multiple buttons on the waist area. The buttons are placed in such a manner that they can be associated with the index-, middle- and ringfinger of both hands.  The buttons serve to change the tempo-indication, ICE-buttons, microphone activation and extra guidance attributes. The harnas functions with a camera which detects the two reflectable discs on the user in front to see if the runner deviates from his or her path. If this is the case the pads on the shoulder will vibrate, letting the user know how to adjust.

A stick that visually impaired and partially sighted people and their buddy can keep in hand walking side-by-side. There is a spring in this stick which gives feedback on whether you are walking straight by the kinetic forces of the spring. The spring will exert a force in the opposite direction if you deviate outwards.. When deviating towards the buddy the compression of the spring can be felt.  If the runners walk behind each other the spring helps to maintain the same pace by extering those same forces when approaching and distancing as when deviating to the side.

Keeping the right cadence can be enhanced with the help of rhythmic sound. Of which the speed can be adjusted according to your own choice. The stick handles can turn. A standard "angle" of the handle can be set using calibration. After the standard has been set, the pole can recognize if the handle is moved too much to the front / back / left / right. If so, auditory feedback is given. In this way, keeping the same tempo is enhanced if you walk side by side and running straight is enhanced if you walk behind each other.  The stick can be retracted / extended as desired for the optimum length.


-Needs to be held in hand, not accessible to runners without hands

- Obstructs the natural running movement

+ Has a tempo and cadans indicator

+ Has ICE physical connection

+ Does not require calibration with respect to reaction time


-Needs to be held in hand, not accessible to runners without hands

- Obstructs the natural running movement, but less than the stick with a spring

+ Not necessarily reliant on technology or electricity

+ Has ICE physical connection

+ Does not require calibration with respect to reaction time


The trailer concept is inspired by the guidance and following of a car with a trailer. After converging into the direction of electronic solutions we decided that, based upon the context mapping study and input of our participants we had to diverge again. This is where the trailer concept was born. In this concept participants will walk right behind each other. The buddy will run in front and wear a harnas/vest with two handlebars. Technology is optional in this concept.


In the first option the solution is purely mechanical. Our participant will hold onto the handlebars. The handlebars are mounted on the back of the buddy and will guide our participant in this manner. This way of running is similar to how our participant runs on a treadmill, holding onto the handlebars. In the associated drawing it is illustrated on the left how this will work. There is a microphone and speakers integrated to facilitate communication. Possibly, the trainer will have rearsight mirrors so he can keep an eye on the runner. 


In the second option the trainer will have a target on the back of his harnas. The participant will have a camera with a stabilizer on his harnas. This camera communicates it’s position wrt the target in x, y and z directions. These directions in turn activate either the shoulderpads or the 360 chest band. The shoulderpads will tell the participant if he has to shift in x-direction (to the side). The 360 chest band communicates the angle between the z and x axis and the position on the z-axis. The angle basically translates to turns whereas the position on the z axis can tell if our participant should speed up or slow down. There is still a flexible connection between the runners but mainly for the sake of safety, rather than for transferring any cues. If our participant completely loses the target or the technology fails he will get feedback from this flexible connection. This concept will have the same functionality as the first concept in terms of audio connection and rear sight. 

earlier concepts
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