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バリアフリー木琴歩道プロジェクト Xylophone Walkway Project

 今日広く用いられている視覚障がい者誘導用ブロックには、視覚障がい者がブロックを見失った場合に車道に飛び出してしまう危険性があり、こうした弱点を補完し視覚障がい者がより安全に歩行できる歩道誘導システムの開発が強く望まれています。
 我々は、アスファルトやコンクリートとは明らかに異なる音響特性を持ち調達も容易なスギ板を歩道の舗装材に用いることに着目し、視覚障がい者が木琴のような木の歩道を白杖で叩くことで自分が歩道の上にいることを容易に認知できるシステムの開発を進めてきました。スギ板の舗装は車椅子ユーザーにも通行しやすいと好評です。
 これまでの基礎的知見の蓄積をベースに、バリアフリーで環境・景観にも優しい木琴歩道の社会実装に向けて頑張っています。

The visually impaired guidance blocks that are widely used today have a risk of jumping out onto the roadway if a visually impaired person loses tracking the block. There is a strong desire to develop a sidewalk guidance system that can compensate for these weaknesses and enable visually impaired people to walk more safely.
We have focused on the use of Japanese cedar boards, which have clearly different acoustic characteristics from asphalt and concrete and are easy to procure as paving materials for sidewalks.
We have been developing a system that allows visually impaired people to easily recognize that they are on the sidewalk by hitting a wooden sidewalk that sounds like a xylophone with a white cane. Cedar board pavement also gets good reviews from wheelchair users.
Based on the accumulation of experiments and findings, we are now working hard to implement Xylophone Walkways that are safe for visually impaired people and are also friendly to the environment and scenery.

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