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3WAVeS: Three-Axis Wearable Adaptive Vestibular Stimulator

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: 140D0422C0053
Agency Tracking Number: D2D-0379
Amount: $1,498,699.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: HR0011SB20224-08
Solicitation Number: 22.4
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-09-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-09-25
Small Business Information
706 Forest Street, Suite A
Charlottesville, VA 22903-5231
United States
DUNS: 142252225
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 J. David Remer
 (434) 220-9448
Business Contact
 Maggie Hudson
Phone: (434) 220-1559
Research Institution

As immersive as the VR/AR environment is, it primarily interacts with the visual system. This can lead to significant issues with motion sickness during immersive simulations. This is commonly due to an effect called oculo-vestibular decoupling, in which the vestibular sensation of motion during a VR/AR simulation does not match the ocular inputs. This is well-documented and a persistent issue for immersive simulation. High-fidelity simulations such as a Level D full motion flight simulator may help reduce this occurrence but come at a cost of multiple millions of dollars. A solution which allows lower cost, yet highly immersive simulations to interface with the vestibular system is thus desired. In response to this need for integration of vestibular sensation into the immersive simulation environment, Luna Labs USA, LLC and partners propose the continued development of the Three Axis Wearable Adaptive Vestibular Stimulator, or 3WAVeS. 3WAVeS represents a major leap in the capacity of GVS for use in the immersive simulation environment by using real-time simulator environmental kinematics, along with the user’s head kinematic data, to generate highly accurate vestibular sensations. 3WAVeS builds upon more conventional Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation methods with significant advances in multiple areas, along with being designed for easy integration into multiple VR-based training scenarios and hardware packages. Specifically, improvements include advanced hardware designed for precise individual axis control, real-time signal modulation for immersive sensation generation, and investigation of a novel stimulation algorithm which is expected to significantly decrease the voltages required for vestibular stimulation. Additionally, the precision stimulation control allows 3WAVeS to be successfully used for spatial disorientation training; conventional GVS-based disorientation paradigms may run the risk of negative training effects.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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