The MyPath project is a new R₂D₂ Center project funded as a federal sub-award project in partnership with the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the University of Miami. The primary goal of the project is to create a mobile app that will help people with mobility impairments navigate more safely, efficiently, and confidently in unfamiliar communities and environments. The app will provide environmental information such as the degree of inclines and path surfaces.
MyPath will collect the vibration generated by different path surfaces across the built environment, classifies path accessibility, and creates personalized point-to-point routes with step-by-step navigation information. This technology aims to be usable with any smartphone device. With the development of this app, the team looks to increase the community participation of people with disabilities.
To initiate this project, the team has already begun completing I-Corps-based interviews with community members and stakeholders, with and without disabilities, to gain a better sense of community accessibility factors. The team’s next steps will be to conduct Participatory Action Research (PAR) meetings with community members and stakeholders to expand the collection of rich data to guide the design of the MyPath project.
Dr. Smith is UW-Milwaukee site-PI. Ph.D. student Lauren Selingo is project lead. MSOT student, Emily Olejniczak, and BS-OST graduate Hanna Noyce complement the UW-Milwaukee project team.