High Speed Tactile Graphics and Braille Embosser

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1R43EY015968-01
Agency Tracking Number:
EY015968
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
VIEWPLUS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
VIEWPLUS TECHNOLOGIES, INC., 1853 SW AIRPORT AVE, CORVALLIS, OR, 97333
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
CHRISTIAN HERDEN
(541) 754-4002
CHRISTIAN.HERDEN@VIEWPLUS.COM
Business Contact:
(541) 754-4002
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This project is intended to determine the feasibility of creating a new very high-speed high-resolution variable-height-dot embosser that can emboss both Braille text and variable-height tactile graphics. Major Braille production houses badly need such a technology if they are to represent modern literature having much of its content in the form of informational graphics. Present high-speed machines produce only Braille text because the cost of including tactile graphics is prohibitive. One goal of this project is to optimize performance of a solenoid/punch smaller than currently used in order to reduce the size and greatly reduce the cost of such a high speed embosser. Another goal is to determine the feasibility of measuring punch depth from solenoid electronic signals, a capability that could reduce manufacturing cost and robustness of such embossers. Finally, initial portions of user-interface software will be developed and tested. This research is expected to prove feasibility of a graphics-capable embosser operating at a speed considerably greater than any currently available Braille embosser and close to the speed of a Braille press. Its cost could be competitive with current high speed braille embossers and a small fraction of the cost of a Braille press. It could revolutionize information access by blind people. Blind people currently have such limited access to tactile graphic information that few can even read tactile graphics easily. A practical method of providing good tactile graphics is needed before this vicious circle, low graphic literacy due to insufficient access to tactile graphics, can be broken. Access to tactile graphic information could greatly improve education, employment opportunities, quality of life, and consequently the mental health of blind people.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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