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Automated Production of Tactile Maps for the Blind

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1994 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Civilized Software, Inc.
7735 Old Georgetown Road, Suit Bethesda, MD 20814
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1994
Title: Automated Production of Tactile Maps for the Blind
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1 R43 EY10475-1,
Award Amount: $81,000.00


We seek to provide innovative methods for producing tactile graphics for the visually impaired.We aim to develop an efficient computer-driven system, "MapUp", to make low-relief mold formoderate-volume reproduction jobs at centralize sits. End users (sighted or assisted) will use existinggraphics-producing software to create images for transmission to the center via floppy or modem. Theimages will be converted by MapUp's software component into command files for mold-makingmachinery. Phase I MapUp routines will: input an image in a popular bitmap format for on-screenviewing; convert it using image processing to a vectorized MapUp-format file; convert the MapUp fileto either PostScript for verification, or to milling machine CNC codes. Using theses routines, samplebitmaps will generate Phase I valuative single-level tactile molds. We will also begin novel multi-levelmodeling and additional Phase II routines. The project also features hardware advances in mold-product-ion media and equipment, involving adaptation of commercial or prototype machinery,, or assembly ofnew equipment from components. Porous materials as a media for thermoform molds will be explored,as will specific mold-making machinery: CNC machines or components, depositional printer emulators,and related rapid-prototypers.

Principal Investigator:

Glenn Pearson

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Civilized Software, Inc.
7735 Old Georgetown Road Suite 410 Bethesda, MD 20814

Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No