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Behavior-based Approach to the Generation of Haptic Feedback in Virtual Reality Training Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-03-M-0278
Agency Tracking Number: N033-0237
Amount: $69,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
38 Cherry Brook Drive
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States
DUNS: 939441031
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Stephen Lane
 (609) 799-8544
Business Contact
 Stephen Lane
Title: President
Phone: (609) 799-8544
Research Institution
 Prof. Norman Badler
Computer & Info Science Dept., 200 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

 (215) 898-7246
 Nonprofit College or University

Advances in the fields of real-time computer graphics, behavioral animation and artificial intelligence are enabling creation of realistic 3D Virtual Environments (VE) in which participants can acquire skills that are normally too costly, dangerous orotherwise impossible to achieve using traditional training methods. The effectiveness of such training applications is currently limited when requiring significant interaction with objects in the virtual world, due to the degree in which haptic stimuli(such as contact forces, friction, vibration, etc.) can be adequately represented and simulated. Recently, a low cost, low weight, and low complexity device, known as a tactor, has been developed to provide these capabilities. In Phase I of the projectsoVoz will determine the feasibility of using a wearable tactor device array in conjunction with a behavior-based authoring paradigm for producing haptic stimuli in virtual training applications. Reaching tasks involving object contact, manipulation andconstraints will be used to evaluate the efficacy of the approach. The proposed project will develop a set of haptic design guidelines, a behavior-based simulation system, authoring tools and an application programming interface for rendering hapticstimuli in a variety of virtual environments. In addition, a preliminary analysis of the extent to which different forms of haptic feedback can enhance task performance will be conducted. Successful completion of Phase I of the project will set the stagefor developing tactor-based garments and associated authoring tools in Phase II that elevate the rendering of haptic feedback in virtual environments to the same level as that of triggering a visual or audio special effect. Such capabilities will notonly significantly enhance the sense of realism experienced in a virtual environment, by tapping into a currently under utilized sensory modality (i.e. sense of touch), but also can be used as a new channel of communication for situational awareness,injury emulation, or to alert and direct the user when visual and/or auditory cues are either unavailable or inappropriate. Anticipated benefits include development of a wearable, haptic display system and associated authoring tools capable of improvingthe immersive qualities and effectiveness of Virtual Reality (VR) training systems. Such a system would have application across a broad range of industries including: military, homeland security, education, corporate training, maintenance and interactiveentertainment. Specific applications include: flight simulators, CQB-like training systems, diver training systems, maintenance trainers, virtual reality and commercial 3D computer games, sports training (e.g. providing situational awareness of properposture during golf swings, gymnastics, skiing, etc.), and homeland security first responder training systems.

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

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