British scientists said on Thursday they had created a cane inspired by bats to help blind and partially sighted people find their stride.

Bats maneuver easily by bouncing high-pitched sounds off nearby objects in a process called “echolocation.”

Researchers at Britain’s Leeds University used this as the model for their so-called “Batcane,” which emits sonar waves inaudible to the human ear to help users detect obstacles ahead, around, or even above them. Any nearby object triggers a vibration in one of four pads in the cane’s plastic handle. As the object gets nearer, the vibration speeds up.

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