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“ASSISTECH: Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired”

Title: “ASSISTECH: Assistive Technology for the Visually Impaired”

Speaker: Professor Mayandiambalam Balakrishnan, CSE, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India

Date and Time: Monday, March 26 at 3:00PM-4:00PM

Location: Donald Bren Hall 4011


More than ten years back we started on the ASSISTECH journey – a laboratory dedicated to finding
technology solutions for the mobility and education of the visually impaired. It has been a very challenging but deeply fulfilling journey. Globally there are many technology solutions available for addressing the mobility as well as education needs of the visually impaired. Unfortunately they fail to address the challenges of mobility and education in India and other developing countries and even if they do they are completely unaffordable. In this talk I would tell the story of development and dissemination of devices and technologies like SmartCane, OnBoard and Tactile Diagrams. These started in the ASSISTECH laboratory as inter-disciplinary projects and are today slowly finding their way to the users.


M Balakrishnan has a B.Tech.(EEE) from BITS Pilani and PhD(EE) from IIT Delhi. He has been
involved in teaching and research in EDA, VLSI and Embedded systems for more than three decades. He has published over 120 papers in leading journals and conferences, supervised 13 PhD students and over 180 B.Tech. and M.Tech. student projects. He has held visiting positions in Canada, US and Germany. He has founded the ASSISTECH laboratory at IIT Delhi which is engaged in finding affordable technology based solutions for education and mobility of visually impaired. He is a recipient of two national awards for his work in the disability space. He has been HoD(CSE), Dean(Post Graduate Studies & Research), Deputy Director(Faculty) and is currently Deputy Director(Strategy & Planning) at IIT Delhi.