Wafer-Level Packaged Microvalve for Braille Display

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$500,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43EY015326-01
Award Id:
70825
Agency Tracking Number:
EY015326
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
ORBITAL RESEARCH, INC., 4415 EUCLID AVE, STE 500, CLEVELAND, OH, 44103
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
TROY PRINCE
(216) 649-0399
SNYDER@ORBITALRESEARCH.COM
Business Contact:
FREDERICK LISY
(216) 649-0399
LISY@ORBITALRESEARCH.COM
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): To function effectively, people require the ability to read, write and share information in a variety of educational, employment and daily living environments. Blind people are increasingly bypassed in the digital revolution because a majority of electronic information is simply inaccessible to them (technically or financially). So, despite the digital revolution providing the average person the ability to access immense amounts of information on demand, traditional assistive technology has not kept pace or addressed the needs of blind individuals. Existing commercial Braille displays utilize piezoelectric actuators to deploy mechanical pins which form Braille text but they are expense and limited in size. In order to reduce the cost of Braille Displays a fresh approach is required. Orbital Research has developed a pneumatically actuated Braille Display concept that utilizes low-cost, small, and efficient MEMS microvalves. The microvalves control air pressure delivered to each Braille dot to control deployment. However, based on feedback from blind people, the Braille displays had inherent drawbacks, including a slow refresh rate and soft tactile feel. To overcome these drawbacks this proposed program will design, fabricate and test a new MEMS microvalve with improved functional capabilities that allow for greater system efficiencies and advanced packaging concept to reduce overall system cost. The resulting microvalve will be integrated into actuator arrays and packaged using automated techniques into modules that can be joined together to form either low-cost entry-level or larger multi-line Braille display systems.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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