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Minimalist Operator Tactile Alerting for Universal Reconnaissance (MINOTAUR)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-21-P-1322
Agency Tracking Number: FX21A-TCSO1-0042
Amount: $49,993.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF21A-TCSO1
Solicitation Number: X21.A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-04-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-07-19
Small Business Information
179 South St 4th floor
Boston, MA 02111-2729
United States
DUNS: 080463034
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Michael Jenkins
 (617) 851-6277
Business Contact
 Sarah Bajkowski
Phone: (630) 346-3415
Research Institution
 Bentley University
 Mounia Ziat
175 Forest Avenue
Waltham, MA 02452-4713
United States

 (781) 891-2000
 Nonprofit College or University

Pison Technology and Bentley University propose a Phase I effort to design, prototype, and validate with AFSW Special Operators the feasibility of a system for Minimalist Operator Tactile Alerting for Universal Reconnaissance (MINOTAUR). MINOTAUR applies decades of empirical research and expertise from our team in minimalist spatial haptics to the design of two distinct haptic cueing and alerting profiles to support: (1) land navigation (i.e., cueing Operators to waypoints, POIs, AOIs); and (2) threat alerting and localization. These haptics cueing profiles will be implemented using a custom haptic actuator configuration as an enhancement to Pison’s proven (TRL7-8) GAMBIT wrist-worn wearable (which enables gesture control of digital systems). Phase I will validate MINOTAUR’s feasibility, via access to end-users from our AFSW MOU signatories, through hands-on technology demonstrations that are made possible by our existing wearable form factor and haptic experimentation prototype test rigs. Working MINOTAUR's intended end users, we will identify promising haptic cueing profiles, and establish requirements for a full-scope MINOTAUR system to serve as a Phase II foundation. MINOTAUR’s haptic cueing capabilities will improve Special Operator situational awareness, while preserving lethality and survivability by promoting heads-up, eyes-out, ears-open, and weapon-ready mission execution. By providing intuitive and resolved haptic cues informed by battlefield ATAK data, Special Operators will be able to better maintain mission focus and reduce decision times for tasks such as land navigation / maneuvers and threat prioritization and response / COA selection. To further mitigate risk of Phase II execution, we will also plan and secure IRB approval to conduct human subjects research in Phase II, which will focus on quantifying the anticipated benefits of MINOTAUR technology under ecologically representative operating conditions. The overall result of the proposed Phase I effort will therefore be a set of established requirements and approved human testing plan to validate the performance of a full-scope MINOTAUR system informed by Phase I feasibility testing. These results will set the foundation for a follow-on Phase II effort to develop, evaluate, validate, and transition MINOTAUR to our MOU customer and end user with minimal technical risk.

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

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