Environmental Localization Mapping and Guidance for Visual Prosthesis Users (SLAM)

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • End date
    Sep 30, 2023
  • participants needed
    35
  • sponsor
    Johns Hopkins University
Updated on 10 July 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers

Summary

This study is driven by the hypothesis that navigation for users of retinal prosthetics can be greatly improved by incorporating Spatial Localization and Mapping (SLAM) and object recognition technology conveying environmental information via a retinal prosthesis and auditory feedback. The investigators will study how effectively the SLAM technology enables the visual prosthesis system to construct a map of the user's environment and locate the user within that map. The technology will be tested both with normally sighted individuals donning a virtual reality headset and with retinal prosthesis users (Argus II).

Description

About 1.3 million Americans aged 40 and older are legally blind, a majority because of diseases with onset later in life, such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Second Sight Medical Products (SSMP) has developed the world's first FDA approved retinal implant, Argus II, intended to restore some functional vision for people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). In this era of smart devices, generic navigation technology, such as GPS mapping apps for smartphones, can provide directions to help guide a blind user from point A to point B. However, these navigational aids do little to enable blind users to form an egocentric understanding of the surroundings, are not suited to navigation indoors, and do nothing to assist in avoiding obstacles to mobility. The Argus II, on the other hand, provides blind users with a limited visual representation of their surroundings that improves users' ability to orient themselves and traverse obstacles, yet lacks features for high-level navigation and semantic interpretation of the surroundings. The proposed study aims to address these limitations of the Argus II through a synergy of state-of-the-art simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and object recognition technologies.

This study is driven by the hypothesis that navigation for users of retinal prosthetics can be greatly improved by incorporating SLAM and object recognition technology conveying environmental information via a retinal prosthesis and auditory feedback. SLAM enables the visual prosthesis system to construct a map of the user's environment and locate the user within that map. The system then provides object location and navigational cues via appropriate sensory modalities enabling the user to mentally form an egocentric map of the environment. Investigators will develop and test a visual prosthesis system which 1) constructs a map of unfamiliar environments and localizes the user using SLAM technology 2) automatically identifies navigationally-relevant objects and landmarks using object recognition and 3) provides sensory feedback for navigation, obstacle avoidance, and object/landmark identification.

Details
Condition Retinitis Pigmentosa, Visual Impairment, Visual Prosthesis
Treatment Navigation System for Users of a Visual Prosthesis
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04359108
SponsorJohns Hopkins University
Last Modified on10 July 2022

Eligibility

Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Subject is at least 25 years of age
Subject has been implanted with the Argus II system
Subject's eye has healed from surgery and the surgeon has cleared the subject for programming
Subject has the cognitive and communication ability to participate in the study (i.e., follow spoken directions, perform tests, and give feedback)
Subject is willing to conduct psychophysics testing up to 4-6 hours per day of testing on 3-5 consecutive days
Subject is capable of understanding patient information materials and giving written informed consent
Subject is able to walk unassisted

Exclusion Criteria

Subject is unwilling or unable to travel to testing facility for at least 3 days of testing within a one-week timeframe
Subject does not speak English
Subject has language or hearing impairment
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