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November 23, 2022 at 12:51 am #19733
I teach sailing and Canoeing to visually impaired adventurers. In both the vessel is tracking straight is essential for the application of technique or theory.
For a proportion of VI users a bright sunny day or a consistent wind gives a poor but usable direction anchor but England struggles for both bright days and constant wind directions.
This leaves the only option of the guide or instructor constantly calling “left a bit” “right a bit” it get frustrating and annoying for the user.
A solution would be to have a device that progressively plays a sound louder the further left of target you are and a differing sound for how right of target. In its simplest form this could just be a single button pushed when course is correct by the guide.
A more advanced version would:
1) allow the input of a target direction, 2) output an audio course confirmation periodically so the user can independently calculate and perform tacks (turns).
3) Use the same system to receive from a (usb )wind sensor an audio read of relative wind direction probably reading out the point of sail (angle of wind to the boat) this would allow a VI crew to trim the sails independently
4) allow nearby remote triggering of the settings from the safety boat or chart table to facilitate solo sailing (currently we use radio audio guidance but it’s a barrier to almost all VI sailors)
We may have a start point to this project which may be of use in that we have an adapted Pypilot hat we use for clients with mobility impairments. The system can read calculate compass course at any angle of heel and the difference between this and the target course before sending it to the motor controller which steers back towards the target. We use various switches to facilitate control for those who could not steer directly. Note this is a hack of a ready made system I have no programming skills.
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