8th Grader Envisions Solution others skipped!

14 year old Riya Karumanchi, develops a Smart Cane to fix a serious need

From Emma Reilly’s Special to The Hamilton Spectator, and YOUTUBE we learned:

This new Freshman will start High School with more business savvy and experience than many college grads!

She spent her summer vacation designing a “smart cane” that vibrates to alert users of objects in their path, BOTH at ground level AND head level.

The idea sparked from an award winning Team Science Fair project.  One of  her first prototypes was a “smart shoe” but she chose the cane for its lower price and greater safety and versatility.

Riya Karumanchi:

  • Adds 3-D and GPS features to classic walking cane
  • Understands market analysis, cost plans
  • Confident multi-faceted Innovative financing


  • Her quest for excellence led her to Hamilton’s annual “Health Hackathon” event, where innovators are asked to pitch ideas to improve health care through technology.
  • This success landed her an internship at the prestigious Mobile and Electronic Health Development and Innovation Centre at Mohawk College.
  • Watch Riya’s presentation of the design and business logic of the Smart Cane.

Emma Reilly  of the Hamilton Spectator reports:

Smart Cane Features

  • As well as vibrating to warn about objects that could cause trips and falls,
    • the cane is also integrated with a maps app that uses a series of vibrations to tell the user whether to turn left, right, or move forward.
    • It can also alert emergency personnel and the user’s family if the person holding the cane happens to fall.
  • Karumanchi is currently in conversation with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind about distributing the smart cane.
    • They expressed a lot of interest in the project and are providing me a lot of resources as well,” she said. “I definitely want to get it into the market. It would be great if the CNIB could distribute it as well.”

This entry was posted in B2B, Community, Health, Product Reviews, QA-munity, Reviews, Teens and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.