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SBIR Phase I: Multimodal Activated Network of Tactile Interfaces for Advanced…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITE
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: SBIR Phase I: Multimodal Activated Network of Tactile Interfaces for Advanced Computing with Haptics (MANTIACH)
Agency: NSF
Contract: 0232688
Award Amount: $100,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project, Multimode Activated Network of Tactile Interfaces for Advanced Computing with Haptics (MANTIACH), is an innovative approach to provide a virtual tactile stimulation display to a human operator in three-dimensional space. This device conveys both the haptic information about a virtual object such as position, placement, and orientation as well as the tactile information of force, compliance, and texture. MANTIACH provides a non-visual interface to enable visually impaired operators and to augment the ability of visually enabled operators to interact with 2D and 3D graphics environments. MANTIACH uses proven stimulation technology, finger and hand positioning, stimulation mapping, and a three-dimensional graphics interpreter. MANTIACH is designed to be integrated into standard computer systems with minimal effort and standard interfaces. Key to this device is its ability to completely free the operator from fixed mechanical arms or levers in the work area, while still providing the full haptic and tactile stimulation directly related to the virtual graphic of screen display. MANTIACH provides humankind with a new user interface to standard computers for full 2D and 3D display capability to enable blind and visually impaired people. Ultimately Orbital Technology Corporation projects a simple human interface that plugs into a standard computer that would provide the entire control and feedback interface with 2D and 3D simulated objects and screens. A primary application would be computer graphical displays and controls for the blind. Additional commercial applications include virtual reality training and entertainment systems, feedback for calibrated and remotely controlled tools and robots and feedback and control interfaces for hazardous chemical and weapon handling, laparoscopic and robotic surgical equipment and many other applications. Advanced user interfaces for the blind to decrease the gap between sighted and blind users of computer systems is possibly the most far reaching and general use for the system. Specific commercial areas to be investigated further include the following: (1) 2D and 3D graphical user interfaces for the blind, (2) software and entertainment interface equipment, (3) interfaces for current robotic and telerobotic equipment, (4) sound interpreters for the deaf, (5) prosthetic hand sensor augmentation, (6) augmented surgical and instrumented tools, and (7) force feedback systems for nano-manipulators.

Principal Investigator:

Thomas Crabb

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corporation
1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No