VIS / Vision Assistance Race



About the Team

The OptiHeroes represent the MCI | The Entrepreneurial School®in Innsbruck, Austria. The MCI covers a broad spectrum of expertise from business and management to biotechnology and of course the relatively young faculty of medical and health technologies. In the faculty, we try to use our mechatronics background to develop new technologies for various applications in medicine and sports. Besides sports, surgical- and rehabilitation robotics, one of the main research areas is in assistive technologies for activities of daily living.

The team is composed of students, staff, and professors. In the lead are Prof. Yeongmi Kim and Prof. Bernhard Hollaus. Prof. Yeongmi Kim has worked with blind people for years, using her strong background in assistive technologies, haptics, and robotics. On the other side, Prof. Bernhard Hollaus delivers with expertise, especially in embedded systems and artificial intelligence. However, the team is only complete with the research staff, motivated students and of course our Pilot Bernhard Tschulnigg!

About the Pilot

Bernhard Tschulnigg is blind since his birth. However, his scientific curiosity has been apparent early on, with a great interest in chemistry. Despite obvious challenges, he started to study chemistry at the university of Innsbruck. Proving his resilience, he became the first blind person with a bachelors degree in chemistry in 2017. His scientific mind, paired with his enthusiasm, makes him a great companion to develop our solutions and push the technology further.

About the Device

To make the technology as accessible as possible, we try to use a smartphone as much as possible. Paired with a custom and modular phone casing which can be 3D-printed easily, most of the tasks are completed with little to none additional hardware. Knowing the strengths of visually impaired people but also the strengths of the team, our solution aims to convert vision information to haptic and acoustic feedback.

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