DEVELOPMENT OF A MINIATURIZED ELECTRONIC COMPASS FOR USE IN PROVIDING DIRECTIONAL GUIDANCE TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED INDIVIDUALS

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Education
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$18,500.00
Award Year:
1990
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
14150
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Arctos Research
P O Box 10670, Fairbanks, AK, 99710
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Jeff P Reistroffer
Design Engineer
() -
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF SOLID-STATE DIRECTION-INDICATING APPARATUS, WITH TILT-IMMUNITY, THAT PROVIDES AN AUDIBLE OR TACTILE INTERFACE WITH THE USER. REDUCED SIZE TO ALLOW ENCAPSULATION IN A TYPICAL WALKING CANE. A DEVICE WILL BE DESIGNED THAT WILL PROVIDE A VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSON WITH AN INDICATION OF HORIZONTAL DIRECTION, WITH RESPECT TO THE EARTH'S MAGNETIC FIELD. THE DEVICE WILLALSO SIGNAL THE USER WHEN IT IS CORRECTLY POINTED IN A PRESELECTED DIRECTION, TO PROVIDE AN "ON-COURSE" CONFIRMATION. DESIRED ACCURACY OF + OR - FIVE DEGREES WILL BE MAINTAINED EVEN WHEN THE DEVICE IS NOT BEING HELD LEVEL, WHICH IS A COMMON SOURCE OF ERROR. USER INPUT AND DEVICE OUTPUT WILL EITHER BE THROUGH SPEECH-SYNTHESIS/SPEECH RECOGNITION OR THROUGH VARIOUS POSSIBLE TACTILE MEANS. THROUGH THE USE OF RECENTLY AVAILABLE SEMICONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGY, THE SIZE OF THE COMPASS MAY BE SMALL ENOUGH TO BE INCORPORATED INTO THE STEM OF A TYPICAL WALKING CANE OR AT LEAST BE SHIRT-POCKET SIZE. PHASE II WORK WOULD INVOLVE EXTENSIVE FIELD TESTING FOR RELIABILITY, ACCURACY, EASE-OF-USE, AND DESIRABILITY BY THE INTENDED USERS. IMPROVEMENTS AND REFINEMENTS WILL BE UNDERTAKEN IN THE DESIGN TO ALLOW FOR ECONOMICAL COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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