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Tactile Data Entry System

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Barron Associates, Inc.
1410 Sachem Place Suite 202 Charlottesville, VA 22901-2496
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Tactile Data Entry System
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX10CC92P
Award Amount: $99,938.00


Barron Associates, in partnership with the University of Washington, proposes integrating a small vibrating element into an EVA glove to create a surrogate for the tactile sense lost behind the insulating and protective layers. This vibrotactile display will stimulate the neuro-receptors in the user's fingertips, with various waveforms, or "tactors," conveying sensations such as impact or surface roughness. By restoring the sense of touch to gloved crewmembers, the system will demonstrate increased performance and reduced user fatigue compared to conventional data entry systems. The proposed technology enables user interfaces that are adaptable to a wide range of tasks, including surface navigation, document editing, communications, and telerobotic control. The Phase I prototype is a pathfinder, overcoming technical hurdles and reducing risks, for an evolved system compatible with integration into future NASA concepts for EVA suits. The prototype targets two key technological challenges to an operational system: tactile cueing and motion sensing. The proposed effort will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating these systems into advanced EVA concepts, and examine the benefit of tactile cueing for relevant data entry tasks. The Phase I program builds a foundation for potential Phase II demonstration of an advanced tactile EVA data entry system by suited crewmembers on the ISS. At the end of Phase I, NASA will be able to make an informed decision on the merits of proceeding to on-orbit evaluation.

Principal Investigator:

Richard J. Adams
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Connie R. Hoover
Business Official
Small Business Information at Submission:

Barron Associates, Inc.
1410 Sachem Place, Suite 202 Charlottesville, VA 22901

EIN/Tax ID: 541243694
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No