Automated Production of Tactile Maps for the Blind

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1 R43 EY10475-1,
Agency Tracking Number: 25067
Amount: $81,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1994
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
7735 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 410, Bethesda, MD, 20814
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Glenn Pearson
 (301) 652-4714
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
We seek to provide innovative methods for producing tactile graphics for the visually impaired.We aim to develop an efficient computer-driven system, "MapUp", to make low-relief mold formoderate-volume reproduction jobs at centralize sits. End users (sighted or assisted) will use existinggraphics-producing software to create images for transmission to the center via floppy or modem. Theimages will be converted by MapUp's software component into command files for mold-makingmachinery. Phase I MapUp routines will: input an image in a popular bitmap format for on-screenviewing; convert it using image processing to a vectorized MapUp-format file; convert the MapUp fileto either PostScript for verification, or to milling machine CNC codes. Using theses routines, samplebitmaps will generate Phase I valuative single-level tactile molds. We will also begin novel multi-levelmodeling and additional Phase II routines. The project also features hardware advances in mold-product-ion media and equipment, involving adaptation of commercial or prototype machinery,, or assembly ofnew equipment from components. Porous materials as a media for thermoform molds will be explored,as will specific mold-making machinery: CNC machines or components, depositional printer emulators,and related rapid-prototypers.

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

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