HYPERTUNNEL - A MR/VR Remote Collaboration System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0018732
Agency Tracking Number: 247251
Amount: $1,050,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 05a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001976
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-18
Small Business Information
350 Warren Street, Suite #4, Jersey City, NJ, 07302-2595
DUNS: 080460841
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Eduardo Neeter
 (201) 942-5112
Business Contact
 Eduardo Neeter
Phone: (201) 942-5112
Email: eneeter@factualvr.com
Research Institution
An important challenge electric utilities will face in the foreseeable future is a workforce that is rapidly retiring and the resulting loss of institutional knowledge.This will also create a vulnerability in the electric grid, especially during widespread power outages where recovery efforts rely on a team of well-trained and experienced personnel.Disasters like Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico highlight how brittle infrastructure can be, as well as the strong dependency on knowledgeable workforce to successfully recuperate.The recovery time for this particular case is far from acceptable.During these critical situations, even if we had unlimited budget, it would be wastefully inefficient to have the small number of available experts physically travel to several locations to support recovery.We propose a Virtual Reality (VR) remote collaboration system to enable technicians in the field to summon an expert by opening a sort of "wormhole" that connects two disparate physical locations into a shared virtual environment where both expert and novice technicians can collaborate and provide guidance and instructions on the task at hand - like being next to each other, side by side.The project aims to develop a software prototype for the underlying VR environment and the required user interface for the relevant use cases, while leveraging commercially available hardware and software, like photogrammetry, 3D scanners and immersive VR displays and input devices.Our solution will enable a small number of experienced-personnel to guide, train and supervise the electric utility workforce of the future.It will allow one person to remotely guide and instruct multiple technicians and crews across widespread locations by virtually moving from one remote location to another in a matter of seconds, maximizing their ability to contribute in disaster recovery efforts, etc.

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

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