Pitch black theatre navigation device

Hey guys,

Over the summer I made an unusual navigation system for a temporary pitch black theatre installation in London. This was in collaboration with a visually impaired theatre company. The audience wore Infrared headphones and held the moving navigation device, which was controlled by Arduino. Jump to 0:19 and 0:42 in the video to see them the device, which we called the Haptic Lotus:


I used about 50 Pro Minis for this project! Such a great platform :)

More info on the project can be found at http://www.thequestion.org.uk/ and on my blog: www.theadlab.blogspot.com



Looks like a very interesting project. I love seeing people use tech in new and interesting ways like this.

it also reminds me of a restaurant in San Francisco where you dine in complete darkness. I believe most if not all the wait staff are blind. I have not been but know some friends who have and they say it's quite an experience.

Great project !!!

I'd love.... to experience it even though I have 20/20 vision.

I could imagine a device like this used in educational applications. Having a handicap myself it's hard to imagine life without... (or with a different handicap) and the opposite is also quite often true.

Just 30 min in a pitch black room would of course hardly compare to being blind 24/7, but I guess only a few people would ever forget an experience like this, blind or not blind.

Best wishes,


Thanks for the positive comments guys.

One of the goals of the project was to strip the boundaries between blind and sighted people. So, for example, nobody could find the targets (islands of infra-red transmitted sound) in the pitch black environment without the Lotus (which used IR in a different way), regardless of whether they were blind or sighted. It was more about swapping the senses around than trying to simulate blindness.

But yes, being in a pitch black room for 30 minutes, while relying on technology to guide you, is quite an odd experience! By the end of the project I was almost getting used to it!