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An image showing a silhouette of an Ultracane user with the word UltraCane below it

A Long Cane that incorporates ultrasonic sensing for obstacle avoidance. - Sleek - Lightweight - Reliable - and Easy to Use. 

The UltraCane was first launched in the UK in 2004, and has recently been upgraded.

The NEW improved UltraCane is more robust and now provides greater reliability,  it is more accurate, speedier and easier to interpret, and with the reduction in its weight it is much easier to use. A primary and secondary mobility device combined.

The UltraCane provides blind and vision impaired travellers with information regarding obstacles in front of them, and at their upper body and head height so that the obstacles can be recognised prior to contact, and easily avoided.An image showing the handle of the UltraCane with the tactors coloured yellow, just above the ultrasonic transducers

Using principals similar to bats and dolphins the UltraCane transmits ultrasonic waves (inaudible to humans) and detects and calculates the distance to obstacles by timing the echo of the return of the ultrasonic waves to the transducers.

The UltraCane handle has two transducers that transmit and detect the ultrasonic waves, and two vibrating buttons (tactors) which indicate the presence of obstacles by their vibrations. The individual buttons vibrate to indicate whether the obstacle is to the front, or at head height, and their rate of vibration indicates at what distance the obstacle is from the user. An image of the ultracane handle with lines and arrows pointing to the transducers, vibrating buttons, and the on off and range switch

The information provided gives UltraCane users greater knowledge of their environment, allowing them to move gracefully and confidently, and to recognise landmarks etc., that are not always detectable with a standard long cane technique. The ability to move smoothly, and at a faster rate, without having to constantly contact objects greatly enhances the UltraCane users confidence and appearance.

Additionally the UltraCane has two ranges of detection. These are easily switched between, the ranges being 4.0 metres to the front of the user, or the short range being 2.0 metres to the front of the user.A diagram showing lines that indicate the ranges of the UltraCane

However it is important that a correct long cane technique is used, otherwise the ultrasonic beams may be oriented incorrectly and not indicate all obstacles, or may indicate obstacles that are not in the users path.

The UltraCane can be provided in nine different lengths to suit most users. (The standard long cane measurement being recommended,) and can also be supplied with various styles of cane tips.

An image showing the three types of cane tips that are available for the UltraCane.

UltraCane tips can be -

 

 

 

 

 

                                                        Click Here to see on You Tube an animated view of the UltraCane being used.

 

 

An image of a male UltraCane user being followed by a male O&M instructor along a busy street in an Australian city.

An image of a female UltraCane user travelling side by side with a female O&M instructor along a sidewalk in an Australian city.

 

 

These Two images provided by the Guide Dogs Queensland organisation illustrate the confidence of UltraCane users, and show two UltraCane users on their lessons with Orientation and Mobility instructors travelling safely and gracefully in a busy Australian city environment. The additional feedback from the UltraCane enhancing their long cane and orientation skills. UltraCane users travel in a more relaxed manner, not having to constantly contact obstacles in their path,  and in the secure knowledge that they will be aware of and protected from overhead objects.

 

 

The UltraCane is supplied with a convenient carry case which holds the UltraCane when it is folded down, and also is supplied with four AA batteries. Only two of the batteries are required to power the UltraCane, but it is recommended that a spare set is always carried so that users are never without the benefits of the UltraCane because of a flat battery. The AA batteries are standard batteries, which is convenient as they can be purchased  locally. Fitting the batteries is simple and can be carried out by users in a few moments.

An image showing the UltraCane carrybag, with an UltraCane positioned in front of the bag.

Also for qualified Orientation and Mobility Instructors there is an UltraCane Instructors Kit available. The kit consists of two UltraCane carry bags, one UltraCane handle (which can be attached to) five different length canes. The Kit enables instructors to inexpensively train multiple clients of different physiques, stride length and heights.

An image showing the UltraCane Instructors Kit

Click here to view the UltraCane User Manual

Click Here to View the Instructional Exercises Guide

        Phone 02 96 800 600   Mobile 0409 228 941         email opteksystems@bigpond.com

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