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Engineering Acoustics, Inc.

Circles in blue, orange, green, purple, and yellow form a half crescent over the text: EAI Haptics printed in lime green

Haptic Interfaces for Public Safety Challenge

  • 1st place: $20,000
  • Most Commercially Promising: $3,500 
  • Total Challenge Prize Amount: $43,500

About the Team 

Gary Zets, President; Brian Altenbernd, Product Manager; Greg Mort, Software Development

Engineering Acoustics, Inc. (EAI) is a technology leader in the development and application of human-centric vibrotactile and haptic systems for defense, entertainment, simulation and training, aviation, and healthcare applications. Their team of engineers, scientists and technicians have performed basic and applied research, and practical product development, for a wide range of military, research and commercial customers, and their products are used world-wide. With closely integrated R&D and in-house manufacturing, they seek to provide quality products and innovative solutions to meet their customers’ specific needs.

Gary Zets is President and Founder of EAI and has been responsible for the design and manufacture of a wide variety of transducers and related electronic and mechanical systems for underwater acoustic and biomedical applications. He heads EAI’s efforts in the design and manufacture of tactile systems for military, biomedical, commercial and consumer applications, and has been responsible for finding new and novel applications for tactile technology, working with researchers and entrepreneurs worldwide to bring these concepts to reality.

Brian Altenbernd has a background in mechanical engineering design and analysis for multiple R&D and product development projects. He has worked with a wide range of products and he oversees the quality control of haptic and acoustic products. Brian ensures specification and requirement are understood and met by maintaining direct liaison with EAI’s customers.

Greg Mort has extensive experience in software development and is part of the software department at EAI. His role is to understand the needs and goals of a project and transfer them into a software solution. Greg has a strong background in many multiple software technologies ranging from 3D simulations and V/R environments, to low level firmware programming and flight critical systems.


The Solution

This image shows a glove being incorporated into a firefighter's jacket

 

This photo shows a haptic protoype being incorporated into a firefighter's jacket

 

As a haptics provider, EAI partnered with ENGR Dynamics to create their haptic interface prototype. EAI designed a haptic glove with two tactors (haptic actuators) to assist with directional cues, while allowing the suer to have full control and motion of their fingers and hand. The glove was integrated into a firefighter jacket and the controller, with Bluetooth communication and battery, were stored in the insider pocket of the jacket. This device assisted firefighters to navigate through a building by providing left, right, and forward navigation cues to the target and then to the building exit. 

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Created December 23, 2019, Updated January 3, 2020