Knight Rider Blind Cane Tip – Windesheim Students innovation

The students of Windesheim initiated a very interesting innovation for the Marchena Blind Cane Project. The students investigated how the VIP can alert other road users in the most striking way, without having a Christmas tree effect, that they will make the crossing. 

The innovation is a kind of “Knight Rider Blind Cane tip. This enhancement makes it possible for the VIP to alert other road users that they want to cross the road with a kind of  “indicator signal”, much like in modern cars.

The Marchena Light-up cane team picked up the idea and made a prototype based on the 4017 chip with 10 LEDs and one trigger RGB LED. The purpose of the prototype is to get an idea of ​​the form factor, weight, user controls and operation.

The first lab tests are encouraging, the prototype can be seen well in the evening and the weight gain is acceptable. The prototype is not optimized and is already light now. We think so, now the VIPs have to give their opinion on this, there is plenty of feedback on how things can be improved. 🙂

The prototype LED’s fit in a transparent acrylic tube as well as in the regular glass fiber tube of the standard Marchena Light up cane.

The disadvantage of the solution applied to the regular lightupcane tube is that the light from the handle flashlight does not pass the signal LEDs, so the team must investigate to what extent this influences the visibility of the Blind Cane and come up with improvements.

The really nice thing about this enhancement is that it is also suitable for regular blind Canes. So the team will put their minds to that as well.

The prototype: It is still a jumble of wires, but the 1.0 version is a neat printed circuit board (PCB) that everyone can buy through Amazon.

The new version boasts a 4017 chip and a 555 chip for a more stable operation. The speed can be adjusted, which is useful for testing purposes. When the formfactor for the PCB is ready, it will also be available for Marchena Lightup Cane owners and for regular canes.

This is what the prototype and new print looks like;

And this is how the prototype works!


Impression of the ZieZo event

Debby had a lot of fun presenting the Lightupcane to the VIPs’ present and other interested parties, here are some impressions.


The visitors and the colleagues at the event stand have subjected the Lightupcane to close inspection and “Road Tests” for two days during the event.


People were positively impressed.

Marchena Cane is invited at the Royal Visio Event in Heerhugowaard

Royal Visio is the most prominent Dutch Organisation with the purpose to improve VIP Life, Social Inclusion and Mobility.

Debby is invited to present her invention to Visio and the visitors of the event. There are many more interesting presentations, For your Convenience we include the “Google Translated” Itenary of the event.

The even takes place in Saturday 16th of march 2019 from 11:00 until 15:00 hrs in Heerhugowaard, Netherlands; Address: Gildestraat 3, 1704 AG Heerhugowaard .


Seeing and not seeing Looking at the possibilities in daily functioning: what results in research into visual acuity, contrast, light, visual field and someone who is visually impaired.

Digital access to the world Smartphones, tablets and the latest iPhoneX: what meaning do they have in the lives of visually impaired or blind people? And what are the possibilities with enlargement and speech if you prefer to work on your PC or laptop? What can home automation give you if you see little or nothing?

From despair to hope What will change in your life if everything you did and considered important is no longer self-evident? If you have to say goodbye to your old way of life and look for a new interpretation, it hurts. What would change in your life if you become blind or visually impaired? That is what we think about.

A poorly sighted or blind child You develop as a child and participate fully in a world that you do not yet understand. How do you do that? And how can your environment best support you in this? The youth team specialists tell you all about it.

Making everyday life easier is not expensive or complicated. Experience the challenges you encounter in everyday activities such as reading and drinking when you are visually impaired. Discover how simple solutions sometimes are, what strategies you can use and what can be done with color, contrast or light.

Braille What function does Braille still have in the digital world? Why do blind children still learn braille? Experience for yourself how and why Braille is still being used.

Blind experience garden Heukelshof Birds ‘looking’ without seeing, that is possible in the Blindentuin de Heukelshof in Alkmaar. On the open day they are present with an experience table.

Encaustic Art During her rehabilitation trajectory at Visio, Rachel discovered Encaustic Art (painting with beeswax). A painting technique that can also be used non-visually. Old revalidant Rachel shows the effect of visual rehabilitation with her paintings. During the open day Rachel opens her exhibition on the ground floor of Visio in Heerhugowaard. She gives demos on the spot and is available for questions. View Rachel’s Facebook page.

Test the luminous stick Debby Machena is busy developing a stick with lighting / luminous stick. On the open day she is present with trial models for demo and to try out. She would like to receive feedback from other stick users. More information can be found on the website lightupcane.

You do not just look with your eyes (but also with your brain). Experience yourself what it is like to orientate yourself with limited vision and to walk in an (outside) space that you do not know. And discover the added value of visual training in case of visual field failure (eg by hemianopia).

Meet and greet with Visio professionals and experience experts 

What does work advice mean for Visio? Nathalie van der Linden, expert experience manager answers questions about getting to work and staying with a visual impairment. What do you need? And how can the professionals of Visio support this?

What role does social work in an organization have for visually impaired and blind people?

Ambulant living support is focused support in promoting the self-reliance of people with a visual impairment who live independently. Who are these professionals and what can they mean for visually impaired and blind people?

You can also use your professionalism for visually impaired and blind people.

Are you interested in working at Royal Visio? View our vacancies and engage in conversation with our professionals.

Activities for children Children can collect points during the route through the building by solving questions or doing an experience assignment. From all good solutions the winner is drawn who, together with family or friends, wins an experience at Blindentuin de Heukelshof in Alkmaar.


Test Print on Basic 3D printer

We downloaded the STL files from the blindjedi website and printed them on a very basic 3D printer. If this works here, it works everywhere in the world.

The result is functionally fine, and the print quality is fine for daily use. All parts fit well and minimal after-print cleanup is needed.