SBIR Phase II: Developing the Standalone Tongue Drive System

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1758598
Agency Tracking Number: 1758598
Amount: $694,524.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EW
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-04-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-31
Small Business Information
1061 MERCER ST SE, Atlanta, GA, 30316
DUNS: 078532671
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jill Kolczynski
 (440) 315-0585
Business Contact
 Jill Kolczynski
Phone: (440) 315-0585
Research Institution
The broader impact/commercial potential of this project centers on bringing enhanced independence, productivity, and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of individuals in the US who live with severe physical disability due to spinal cord injury or other debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Due to improvements in emergency medicine and increasing average age, these individuals represent a growing population that is underserved by current assistive technologies (ATs). The ATs being relied upon to carry out basic tasks are still primitive, offer limited versatility, and fail to meet end-user needs. Meanwhile, computers and internet play ever-growing roles in everyday life and are regarded as equalizers that allow individuals to have similar vocational, recreational, and educational opportunities. The Tongue Drive System (TDS) offers individuals with severe physical disabilities an intuitive and superior mechanism for accessing computer-based resources, wheelchairs, smartphones, smart homes, etc. TDS harnesses the power of the human tongue, which often retains full capability in these individuals despite losses of other functions, to drive human-computer interactions. TDS has the potential to revolutionize the current AT market in the US and around the world with an anticipated market size of $1B within its primary market segment. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase-II project aims to bring this transformative and game-changing AT to market by continuing the design, development, evaluation, and expansion of a robust, reliable, and real-time TDS ecosystem. In Phase-I, the TDS hardware was redesigned and consolidated so that all signal processing functions were self-contained into a new standalone TDS (sTDS) headset system with a dual-band wireless link that can directly interface with a target peripheral by transmitting formatted user-defined commands. In Phase-II the designs for a solid and intuitive user interface, a smartphone app, and a robust and rugged powered wheelchair interface module to effectively control key target devices will be fine-tuned in the final stages of development in preparation for launch. The sTDS hardware/software/enclosure will also be tested and ready for manufacturing and meet the FDA regulatory requirements towards submission of a 510(k) premarket notification. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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

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