Tactical Telehaptic Communication (HAPTAC)
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
Communication between soldiers on the battlefield is currently limited to voice and hand signaling. However, the realities of combat, including loud noises and visual obstructions, degrade these communications modalities. The U.S. Department of Defense is interested in the use of tactile human interfaces as a supplemental communications channel between soldiers. A field-deployed haptic communicator would consist of a body-worn tactile array capable of wirelessly exchanging information between soldiers via the skin. Mide Technology Corporation has completed a 6-month Phase I effort resulting in a positive feasibility assessment for a haptic communicator that employs piezoelectric actuators. A complete system prototype consisting of a 12-element tactile array and electronic driver unit was successfully demonstrated. Prototype performance as a direct-touch device was evaluated through formal testing on human subjects, while its efficacy as a vibro-tactile device was demonstrated qualitatively in the laboratory. The array is sufficiently thin for integration into clothing, the electronic hardware is small and battery-powered, and the system is of reasonable cost. Mide intends to carry out a Phase II research and development effort that will improve the current state of piezo-tactile technology and test performance of advanced prototypes through human testing in a simulated operational environment.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Mide Technology Corporation
200 Boston Avenue Suite 1000 Medford, MA 02155
Number of Employees: