MEMS Valves for Tactile Braille Text & Graphical Display

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43EY016637-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: EY016637
Amount: $141,738.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2006-2
Small Business Information
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (216) 649-0399
Business Contact
Phone: (216) 649-0399
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The overall goal of the proposed SBIR program is to create a low-cost, large area refreshable Braille display with the combined capability of displaying tactile Braille text and graphical information. Existing methods of accessing electronic information available to blind individuals are incapable of meeting the challenges of the information age. Orbital Research Inc. is developing a technology that can meet the demanding requirements of a Braille/graphical display system. To achieve this ambitious goal, Orbital Research will build upon its successful foundation of low-cost, low-power MicroElectroMechanical System (MEMS) microvalve technology. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed device, Orbital Research will complete the follow tasks: 1) Develop the operational parameters of such a device. 2) Develop the core technology of MEMS microvalve arrays and tactile surfaces to meet the operation parameters. 3) Integration of this core technology into a prototype Braille/graphical display. 4) Orbital Research Inc., with the aid of potential users, will test this prototype display for user acceptability as well as functional consistency and longevity. These final tests will show product feasibility as well as indicate areas that will need additional attention. With this information Orbital Research Inc. will take the technology to Phase II where final product development will be completed and preparation for production will begin. This new product will enable large affordable Braille/graphical displays to help blind users interact in the information age.

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

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