SKIN VIBRATORS FOR USE WITH AIDS FOR THE DEAF

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$500,000.00
Award Year:
1984
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
532
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Audiological Engineering
35 Medford St, Somerville, MA, 02143
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
David Franklin
(617) 628-1435
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
THE LONG-RANGE PURPOSE OF THIS RESEARCH IS TO ENABLE THE DESIGN OF BETTER VIBROTACTILE COMMUNICATION AIDS FOR THE PROFOUNDLY DEAF. THE IMMEDIATE GOAL IS TO ASSESS THE POTENTIAL OF PIEZOELECTRIC BIMORPHS AS A MEANS OF IMPLEMENTING MORE APPROPRIATE VIBROTACTILE TRANSDUCERS THAN ARE AVAILABLE. THEORETICAL MODELS OF VARIOUS CONFIGURATIONSOF BIMORPHS INTERFACING WITH THE SKIN WILL BE GENERATED, MODELS VALIDATED BY MEASUREMENTS AND A NUMBER OF DEVICES BUILT. IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THESE MEASUREMENTS INSTRUMENTATION FOR MEASURING TRANSDUCER-SKIN EXCURSIONS WILL BE BUILT. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EXCITATIONS OF THE TYPE WE EXPECT AND PERCEPTUAL THRESHOLDS WILL BE ESTABLISHEDEXPERIMENTALLY FOR USE IN THE MODEL. THE PERFORMANCE OF DIFFERENT BIMORPH GEOMETRIES WILL BE COMPARED IN THE CONTEXTOF TACTILE AID REQUIREMENTS AND DESIRED TYPES SELECTED FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT. IT IS EXPECTED THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TODEFINE VERY EFFICIENT, SAFE AND EASY-TO-USE TRANSDUCERS OF THE NARROW-BAND TYPE THAT RELATE TO MANY TACTILE AIDS EITHERBEING BUILT NOW OR CONTEMPLATED. CERTAIN OTHER DESIGNS REQUIRE EITHER VERY SMALL OR WIDE-BAND TRANSDUCERS. WE WOULD EXPECT TO GAIN INSIGHT INTO THESE TYPES, BUT NOT SOLUTIONS IN SUCH A SHORT TIME. THE DEVICES WE EXPECT TO DEVELOP HAVE COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS FOR SALE TO OTHER DESIGNERS OF TACTILE AIDS AND AS PART OF AIDS AUDIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING INTENDS TO MANUFACTURE AND SELL. ACCORDING TO ACOMMUNICATION FROM N. DURLACH OF MIT, WORKING GROUP 40 OF THE COMMITTEE OF HEARING, BIOACOUSTICS AND BIOMEDICAL DEVICES OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL CONCLUDED THAT UNLESS BETTER VIBROTACTILE TRANSDUCERS BECOME AVAILABLE, PROGRESS OF TACTILE AIDS WOULD BE SEVERELY LIMITED. THIS IS OUR BELIEF ALSO. THIS RESEARCH IS ADDRESSED IN THE PHS OMNIBUS SOLICITATION UNDER NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NEUROLOGICAL AND COMMUNICATIVE DISORDERS AND STROKE (NINCDS)COMMUNICATIVE DISORDERS PROGRAM; "DEVELOPMENT OF TACTILE ANDVISUAL DEVICES FOR COMMUNICATION IN THE DEAF AND DEAF-BLIND.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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