Haptic Rendering of Virtual Stimuli for Fully Immersive Virtual Reality Training Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-03-M-0265
Agency Tracking Number: N033-0148
Amount: $69,872.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
387 Technology Drive, College Park, MD, 20742
DUNS: 128374548
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Corinna Lathan
 President & CEO
 (301) 405-0156
Business Contact
 Carl Pompei
Title: Executive Vice-President & CFO
Phone: (301) 405-0156
Email: cpompei@anthrotronix.com
Research Institution
 Helen Spencer
 Office of Research Services, 2121 I St., NW, Suite 601
Washington, DC, 20052
 (202) 994-6255
 Nonprofit college or university
The lack of physical feedback in immersive virtual environments makes it difficult to provide an accurate simulation for training close-quarters battle (CQB) skills. Environments require a soldier to come into contact either directly or indirectly withmany different types of objects and with potential multiple body parts. Sometimes contact could be initiated by someone else. A simulator for CQB training requires the use of scalable, mobile, and deployable haptic feedback.Phase I will be the design and development of a proof of concept full-body, haptic feedback system to determine the feasibility of various techniques we will employ, and measuring goodness through laboratory testing. Phase II will use the outcomes ofPhase I to engineer a product prototype. Phase III will move the Phase II prototype into the product development stage.The specific goals of this system are to determine the feasibility and usefulness of a full-body, haptic feedback system based around the George Washington University developed TactaBoard system. The current TactaBoard system has 16 outputs, isapproximately the size of a palmtop computer, and can be controlled through wireless communications.Our proposed effort can be divided into three main areas of work.1. Extending the TactaBoard system,2. Extending the TactaVest design, and3. Basic and In-Depth Usability Studies The proposed system is applicable to other military applications as well as to the commercial computer gaming and entertainment industries. A modified version of our system, coupled with a GPS system in a vehicle, could be used in a route-followingapplication to alert drivers when it is time to make a turn. In other situations, a GPS transponder could be used to guide a person through a building where verbal communication is not possible and vibrotactile feedback could provide the same informationusing a nonverbal channel. The company believes the potential commercial non-military markets for products using this technology are the medical, aviation, maritime, gaming and entertainment industries, as well as state and local governments

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

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