HapNet: Optimizing the Application of Haptics for Training

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-03-M-0263
Agency Tracking Number: N033-0152
Amount: $69,908.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Gwynedd Office Park, 716 N. Bethlehem Pike, Ste 30, Lower Gwynedd, PA, 19002
DUNS: 161162995
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jennifer Fowlkes
 Principal Investigator
 (407) 277-9288
Business Contact
 Phil Rollhauser
Title: Mgr of Contracts
Phone: (215) 542-1400
Email: prollhauser@chiinc.com
Research Institution
 Don Washburn
 12443 Research Parkway, Suite 207
Orlando, FL, 32826
 (407) 823-3062
 Nonprofit college or university
Haptic interfaces are being designed to enhance user interactions with entities in virtual environments. Potentially, haptics has widespread training applications and can be expected to enhance the perception of immersion and expand the breadth of skillsthat can be trained. However, while visual and auditory stimuli have long been effectively incorporated into immersive training environments, haptics stimulation has lagged behind, due in large part to factors such as the immature state of hapticstechnologies, the difficulty of simulating the sense of touch, and the lack of research on how best to utilize haptics for training. CHI Systems, Inc. proposes to team with the University of Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training toinvestigate how best to employ haptics to achieve training benefit. The ultimate product of our effort will be HapNet, a desktop software application and visual workspace to facilitate the design of tactor applications for various uses (e.g., training,gaming, medical-therapeutic). HapNet will incorporate mapping algorithms founded on theoretically and empirically based guidelines developed as a result of the research performed in Phases I and II. In Phase I, we propose to (a) assemble a prototypevirtual testbed, (b) develop a taxonomy of haptic applications to guide research, (c) perform preliminary research and, for the Phase I Option, (d) develop a plan for a structured research program investigating the optimal placement and stimulationpatterns of tactor arrays for training as well as for other applications suggested by the taxonomy. As the uses of haptics expand, practitioners will require assistance in the theory-based application of haptics. Applications potentially supported byHapNet include gaming (e.g., enhancing special effects and immersion), advanced learning and education settings (e.g., facilitating the design of nontraditional displays based on haptics), and the health and medical field (e.g., design of haptic displaysto promote spatial orientation and navigation for blind individuals).

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

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