NASA SBIR 2014 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 14-1 H20.01-9525
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Human-Robotic Systems - Manipulation Subsystem and Human-System Interaction
PROPOSAL TITLE: Natural Touch Interaction for Virtual Reality and Teleoperation via Ungrounded Tactile Shear Feedback

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tactical Haptics
947 South McClelland Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84105 - 1416
(801) 382-7669

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William Provancher
william.provancher@tacticalhaptics.com
615 Arapeen Dr., #310
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84108 - 1254
(650) 762-6842

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
William Provancher
AOR@tacticalhaptics.com
615 Arapeen Dr., #310
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84108 - 1254
(801) 382-7669

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 1
End: 3

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Human-Robotic Systems - Manipulation Subsystem and Human-System Interaction is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?
No

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The proposed research innovation will create a low-cost, intuitive means for people to have multi-fingered interaction with Robonaut 2 and training simulations via tactile shear feedback. This work builds on the PI's prior university research. Tactile shear feedback imparts friction and shear forces to the user's hand via sliding plates that are built into the handle of the grasped device. These sliding plates rub against the user's skin and induce in-hand friction forces to create perceived force/torque-like sensations despite not being connected to a fixed surface. Translational motions and forces can be portrayed along the length of the handle by moving the sliding plates in unison in the corresponding direction; whereas moving the plates at opposing locations in the handle in opposite directions creates the feeling of the device's handle wrenching within the user's grasp.

To this novel form of haptic feedback, the PI proposes to add a more intuitive means for a user to interact with virtual and teleoperated environments by allowing the user to open and close his/her grasp as he/she would naturally do when grasping an object. It is hypothesized that adding the ability for the user to interact by opening and closing his/her grasp will provide improved interaction performance and be preferred by users. The proposed work also creates the ability to individually control the fingers on multi-fingered robot hands like those on Robonaut 2.

Our developed haptic interface will provide a low-cost means for mission scientists, astronauts, and others to interact with Robonaut 2. The developed interface will also provide greater access for planning and training of EVAs, and could provide a more intuitive interface for ground personnel to operate and supervise robots. Furthermore, the developed system's low cost would also permit it to be used directly in NASA outreach / STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) activities.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The low-cost haptic interface could be used to provide finger-level control of a Robonaut 2 hand. Simpler grasp gestures can also be detected to simply indicate that a robot should grasp an object. The developed interface will also provide greater access for planning and training of EVAs, and could provide a more intuitive interface for ground personnel to operate and supervise robots. Haptic feedback from the developed ungrounded haptic interface will increase a user's level of presence relative to other ungrounded interfaces. Because of its low cost, the developed haptic interface could also be used as a common hardware interface to recruit academic and industry researchers to rally around and solve NASA grand challenges, because they could all afford and use the same human-robot interface hardware. These devices could also be used in NASA outreach/STEM activities within science installations that will allow young and old space enthusiasts to interact with NASA training simulations in the same manner as NASA personnel.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA applications of this research include creating more immersive and natural interactions in virtual reality, as well as video games. The Oculus Rift Head Mounted Display (HMD) has brought a resurgence in Virtual Reality (VR) because of its low cost. Our technology could provide a powerful haptic counterpart to their HMD. The grasp sensing developed in this project will create the ability to roughly measure hand pose and grasp gestures that could also be used to provide greater immersion for VR and video games.

There are also applications for controlling telerobots for handling hazardous materials (e.g., for toxic cleanup or handling nuclear waste) or for interacting in hazardous environments (e.g., oil well maintenance at the ocean bottom or underwater search and rescue).

It is also possible that our developed haptic interface could be used to interface with a remote care-giving robot, for in-home elder care by a remote caregiver.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Mission Training
Outreach
Teleoperation

Form Generated on 04-23-14 17:37