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Center Innovation Fund: JSC CIF

Tactile Communications

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Communication with the crew is vital and must be maintained regardless of environmental conditions and crew activity. Current spacecraft communication systems depend entirely on visual and auditory channels that can be unavailable or unreliable when the crew is sleeping, fully engaged in another activity, or in a noisy environment. Tactile information displays provide a highly reliable alternative that takes advantage of the most salient human sense – touch. This additional interface modality can be used for a wide range of interactions, including emergency caution and warning, non-emergency situational awareness, navigation, and to enhance realism in telepresence and virtual training. The project team will partner with University of Minnesota Apparel Design students to develop wireless tactile communication garments that can be used to evaluate various tactile display methodologies.

This project has developed a set of tactile display garments that will be used to evaluate various tactile display methodologies. The garments include two sleeves and a belt that are designed for easy don/doff to facilitate research with multiple users. Fifteen small vibrating motors are integrated into the garments and are controlled wirelessly via a custom desktop control interface.

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Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

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Project Management

Project Duration

Technology Maturity (TRL)

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