MINISTRY OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND WATER STATEMENT, Head of the Road Safety Department sees no objection to a luminous white cane

I received this in response to my letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management:

I hereby respond to your question to the National Government Information about the white cane that you use as a visually impaired person when you participate in traffic. You ask if you can use a cane that is luminous, because the ordinary white cane is not visible in the dark and in bad weather.

Thank you for putting this question to me. It is very unfortunate to hear that you have been hit and I understand that you are looking for ways to prevent this in the future.

The white cane should contribute to your safety in traffic. In Article 49, paragraph 1, of the 1990 Traffic Rules and Signs Regulations ( ) state: “Drivers must let the blind, equipped with a white cane with one or more red rings, and let all persons with difficulty move ahead.” Thanks to the blind guide cane, other road users see that a blind person is approaching and they must let him go.

The legislation does not further define the white cane with one or more red rings, the white cane for the blind. We must therefore start from common usage. A white cane that emits white light and has one or more red rings still looks like a “white cane with one or more red rings”. From “one or more” you could infer that the legislator would not want to see just one design as a “white cane for the blind”.

It is super nice to know this!

Heaven of God Ideas

Prototype mondkapje

Prototype Mondkapje

Crises and accidents are a cultural pressure cooker. They invite innovation. Super interesting!

For example, many individuals and maker communities are currently alleviating problems in healthcare. The famous issue of mouth masks and respirators, for example, is a matter of great concern. Suddenly there are too few. That is why people are busy devising alternatives themselves. Attempts can lead to innovation, especially by soaking together. Time will tell which attempts were successful and which go to Heaven of Good Ideas. You only know that afterwards.

If it turned out not to be such a good idea, you will enter a new phase. What do you learn from the feedback? Is it a matter of improving the elaboration of the idea to make it good, or can you send the idea to Heaven of Good Ideas?

The Heaven of Good Ideas has a predominantly positive atmosphere. So many attempts to improve the fate of people and animals, so much inventiveness, so much love!

Is there reason to be sad when a good idea turns out to be not so good? Is it bad to send an idea to heaven?
Yes and no.
Yes, because how nice would it have been if the problem with this invention had been solved?
No, because it is better to try seriously than to think in advance that it is not possible. We have learned new things. We may have met new people in the process and new ideas will bubble up. Only when we make it and try it out will we know if it can work. You only know if it is working properly if you have it tested.

I assume that the hard labor of Makers during this Corona crisis will yield so many usable and easy-to-produce masks and respirators that in the near future all of humanity will be better protected against subsequent outbreaks of viral respiratory infections. Also in economically disadvantaged areas.

Before that protection is actually there, a lot of iterations and “failures” and other learning moments are needed. We all need these. In this context it is therefore an honor if a mask goes to a gallery in the Heaven of Good Ideas.

I wish all Makers inspiration and success.
Thank you in advance for your hard work!

Nous maintiendrons!

Debby Marchen

Holman competition

Crossing the street with a LightupCane

Crossing the street with a LightupCane

Hello dear supporters,

I tried to make a video with a mild cold to participate in the Holman competition. The Holman Foundation is based in the United States, and they promote that blind and partially sighted people do interesting things. Well, I am of course still busy with the Marchena LightupCane.

Something didn’t go quite right, so that movie is (unfortunately) called “mijn film”, my movie. Yes, it will eventually be, well, just watch it.

Do you want to vote for my video?
How? Like the video



Please, could you share this message?

Presentation LightupCane at Symposium

Presentatie Lightupcane op Symposium

Presentatie Lightupcane op Symposium

Two teams of students gave a joint presentation about the DIY version of the Lightupcane. They have made it suitable for the blind. When the light comes on, or goes out, the blind user receives a vibrating and sound signal. If the cane falls it will beep until it is picked up. If it needs to be charged, we will receive a signal.
Super handy!

The intention is that second-year students of electrical engineering make the electronics smaller, so that the electronics should fit into any handle.

Announcement Symposium

Students at work

Students at work

At the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences 2 teams of students have made the DIY version of the Lightupcane user-friendly, and they have been selected to give a presentation at a symposium. There is a competition element in it. I am curious how high they will finish 🙂

Symposium: ‘Healthcare technology: not lulle maar bouwe’

January 22, 2020 Time: 13:00 – 17:00 Location:

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rochussenstraat 198,

Local RS.00.311 (ground floor)

Everyone is welcome!l

Finishing Touches Improvements Lightupcane

Students at work

Finishing Touches

Students put the finishing touches to the improved prototypes of the Marchena Lightupcane. The presentation will take place during the Symposium “Healthcare technology: don’t talk but build” | January 22, 2020 of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

Kennisnetwerkbijeenkomst Zorgtech010


Managers at work

Manager at work

Managers at work

Manages at work, improving the LightupCane

Managers at work, improving the LightupCane

Members of the Executive Board and education managers met yesterday during Knowledge network meeting Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Kenniscentrum Zorginnovatie) ZorgTech010

In a short workshop they brainstormed about improvements to our Lightup cane. In this way they could experience a little how students approach it. Then Jasper, one of the students, gave a presentation of what they have improved so far. Very promising!

Make Health Open Evening at Waag

Geniuses at work

Geniuses at work




Prototyping anti-roll away

The first Make Health Open Evening took place on November 14 in the Waag Amsterdam. More than 10 technicians accepted the challenge of improving the Marchena Lightupcane in one evening. Surprising ideas came out. On the Photos you can see a small impression of a successful evening.

Succes at Dutch Design Week

Debby showing her Lightupcanes at Dutch Design Week

Debby showing the Lightupcanes at Dutch Design Week

Debby presented her light emitting white canes at the Embassy of Health at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven at the Waag stand. The responses were positive. Everyone thinks these canes should have been around for a long time!

The design process is also going very fast by now with all those contributions from Hogeschool Rotterdam and other schools.

Due to cheap copyers, factories do not invest in making industrial designs with all the certification that is needed to bring (renewed) aids to the market.

So Debby starts to raise to funds again to have the design made with all certification, to offer the Open Source Design with al the required certifications to all producers on behalf of all backers. After all, we need the good Lightupcanes. The sooner the better!

New Project Hogeschool Rotterdam

Students of the Hogeschool Rotterdam are going to improve the Lightupcane.

What are the two groups of students going to do?

Making the cane user-friendly for the blind. For example, there is no tactile feedback that the light is burning, or that it stops shining, or a signal that the battery is running low. And if the cane falls it would be handy if the cane makes a noise so that you can find it again. In addition, they can come up with brilliant ideas themselves, as long as they keep communicating with me and document everything well. They also document things that “go wrong”, in order to avoid that the same “unsuccessful solutions” are devised and tried out every time.

The two groups of students had planned to “avoid” each other as much as possible during the first few weeks. Then each group can come up with ideas and solutions in deep isolation. Then they come together to forge plans together or not and to divide the work. I am super curious and very grateful!