Skip to content

ABFMIT2013: Promoting research for the benefit of humankind

November 5, 2013
tags: , ,


2nd Challenges Workshop – December 6th, 2013

How neuroscientists and computer scientists seek to understand the functional uses of vision and develop innovative technologies enabling visually impaired people to increase their independence and social inclusion.’’

This workshop has been included in the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in America: Italian and American scientists have been invited to participate to this multidisciplinary group of excellence in order to exchange their achievements and lay new bridges among the two cultures.

Goal of the workshop:

Find a new understanding of the complex challenge of enabling visually impaired people in getting and achieving a better autonomous life via a multidisciplinary approach.

The objective of the workshop is setting up a dialogue among scientists adopting different solutions and approaches to the important research question: how are neuroscientists and computer scientists working to understand the functional uses of vision and develop innovative technologies enabling visually impaired people to increase their independence and social inclusion?

This problem needs to be reformulated beyond the classical boundaries of each involved discipline in order to achieve innovative solutions based on a new understanding of such a complex issue.

The 2nd ABF CHALLENGES Workshop will put together multi-disciplinary scientists that are the excellence in their fields to let them share results and ideas and find together such new understanding.

In order to achieve a better autonomous life as well as to increase the independence and the social inclusion for a blind person, different approaches have been tackled.

At the workshop, each scientist will give a short lecture on his/her solution and point of view; then, during a final panel section, they will discuss together how to get a unique multidisciplinary new understanding.

At the workshop, several studies will be presented concerning: the neurological aspects of vision; retinal prosthesis; the design of assistive technologies helping blind people in the autonomous navigation and orientation, either outdoors or indoors, avoiding obstacles; spotting texts; assistive technologies to efficiently socialize and recognize faces and people expressions; games and tools helping blind children. Furthermore answers to the question of what is vision without sight and what is vision in terms of perceptual and cognitive functioning for the blinds will be discussed.

All the scientists are approaching the problem from their own perspective, but they are all answering the same question:

Is it possible for visually impaired people, thanks to technology and science, to live an autonomous life, be independent, work and socialize?

The workshop will take place at MIT, where, within the framework of the Challenge Program, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation is funding a multi-disciplinary research group for the creation of assistive technologies that allow visually impaired people to safely walk indoors and outdoors, spot text and recognize faces, and for the production of a new tactile device that can be used to interact and communicate with a blind person. Part of this project and the results achieved in the last two years will be presented at the workshop on December6th.


No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: