Inspired By Bats, This Young Inventor Makes the World an Easier Place For the Visually Impaired

By Anne Cacherell

When intelligence is used for a noble purpose, then it becomes more possible to make this world a better place. Grade 11 student at Academie Ste. Cecile International School in Windsor, Ontario Alex Deans developed a novel hand-held navigation device called iAid that gives visually impaired people independence and confidence when moving around.

The idea occurred to him when he was 12 years old while watching a visually impaired woman struggling to cross a busy downtown street. After a short conversation with the lady, he went home and immediately conceptualized things.

Inspired by bats’ sonar system or echolocation that enables them to navigate in the dark when hunting prey, this award-winning scientist’s invention is equipped with 4 ultrasonic sensors mounted on a belt to scan and map the surrounding, simulating a 180-degree vision.

This 18-year old inventor was recently featured by Maclean’s magazine as one of “Canada’s Future Leaders Under 25.”

This young boy’s invention gathered numerous science awards. Do you find this navigation device impressive? Share with us you thoughts.

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