Cooperating with partners
Elitac actively collaborates with partners to develop and test new applications for our tactile technology. We are working closely together with commercial partners as well as knowledge institutions (TNO, Saxion, UT Twente, Hogeschool van Amsterdam).
Below you find an overview of our (inter)national projects.
Navigation for car drivers is usually provided by visual and auditory feedback. While visual feedback of proximity may seem the most obvious choice, a driver’s vision is already heavily loaded: drivers simultaneously watch the road, perform shoulder checks, monitor instruments—all while driving. To reduce mental load of first responders, Teijin Aramid (Arnhem) and Elitac (Utrecht) joined forces. Together Teijin Aramid and Elitac further developed the concept of the tactile navigation seat. Read more about this product on sentaz.com
As a follow up on the outcomes of the Defense Innovation Competition of 2013, Elitac continues to develop the Mission Navigation Belt (MNB). Within this project the main focus is to create a stand-alone product, with all sensors and subsystems integrated. The vest supports navigation along different coordinates or rendezvous points using soft vibrations which is very intuitive to use. Using input from the Royal Netherlands Army we are working towards an even more comfortable garment that suits military conditions.
Firefighters are essential and inevitable to public safety; saving others live by placing themselves in great danger. Elitac is developing the SenSuit, a wearable that enables a tactile communication between commander and firefighter making this hazardous work safer. Together with Frauenhofer Gesellschaft, S-Gard and EagleScience, Elitac is working on a tracking and communication system that lets the commander localize firefighters in the building, and enables to communicate and coordinate them. The suit enables firefighters to sense this information continuously on their skin which ensures a decreased cognitive load and an increased situational awareness.
Virtual worlds are an expanding phenomenon in everyday life. 3D movies are the standard in cinema’s. Our smartphones have nearly limitless applications, large tech companies keep expanding its levels of virtual social connectivities and take the lead in offering social gaming. Elitac want to offer the sense of touch when roaming the virtual world. It does not matter if you are having a Skype conversation with a loved one far away, enjoying a game or movie, working through a professional training simulation or operating a complex robot – being able to feel is what will enrich the experience by many times.
Within the MotoSense project, Elitac developed tactile navigation for motorcyclists. Currently available visual or auditory navigation methods are not the most safe and practical means to provide the motorcyclist with navigation information. Elitac investigated the possibilities for a navigation system that uses gentle vibrations to guide the rider in the desired direction. In this project we co-created with our users to fully adapt the new hardware to their needs. In this project Elitac has worked closely together with We-Boost and EagleScience.
In 2013 Elitac has been awarded with the yearly Defense Innovation Award in the Netherlands. The project focuses on the development of a tactile vest that supports navigation and covert communication for soldiers. It enables the soldier to keep eyes, ears and hands free to focus on the environment and the tasks at hand. Tactile presentation of information increases situational awareness and lowers cognitive load. The tactile vest is heavy-duty, washable and able to withstand military conditions.
Together with fashion designer Pauline van Dongen we developed a wearable tool for body posture conditioning. This esthetically pleasing product is comfortably worn under your clothing and gives a gentle vibration to motivate you to sit in a healthy and dynamic position. The wearable connects with your smartphone to give you information about your seating behavior. An exciting product concept for use in the workplace! This project is supported by the European Fund for Regional Development by the European Union.
Development of a stand-alone wearable device for obstacle recognition and indoor navigation for the blind. Tactile feedback has been recognised as important modality for conveying spatial information for blind and visually impaired people. The Range-IT system will allow visually impaired people more independence by increasing mobility, and with that social participation. www.range-it.eu An European FP7 project with partner TU Dresden, TNO, University of Ghent, SoftKinetic, Dräger & Lienert (D&L).
Development of a device that simulates human touch and transfers it over the internet to a person anywhere on the planet. This is the starting point of the development of multiple businesscases in which touch can be applied. As an end result Elitac will develop a product that is fully adapted to the needs of one of the target groups. Project Commit/ Virtual Worlds for well-being. http://www.commit-nl.nl/ Partners: HvA, University of Twente.
Within the BLINDTRACK project we developed a running facility embedded to a 400m athletic track for visually impaired people to run without another person’s assistance. BLINDTRACK brings a significant change in training opportunities of visually impaired. www.blindtrack.eu. An European FP7 project with partner ATEKNEA, INFOALAP, PPS Projects, ENESO, ADAPTOR AS, Budapesti Sportszolgáltató Központ, Instituto de Biomechánica de Valencia, FraunHofer Institut.
The Science Suit is a modular, customizable solution for research and development purposes. The number and position of the vibration units can be adjusted to test and validate new ideas. This product is the only available customizable off-the-shelve solution for wearable actuation. The Science Suit is currently used worldwide in universities and research centers. The Science Suit is commercially available.
With our partners we developed a belt that was specifically customized to increase the effectiveness and safety of First Responders. It displays in conjunction with a head mounted display important information about the building the First Responder is moving through in low visibility situations. It consists of 16 vibration units, placed horizontally as well as vertically, has 20% stretch and is controlled by an integrated system using USB. Elitac builds fully integrated tactile displays, for example the tactile belt used in multidiciplinairy FP7 project called DITSEF, funded by the EU.
The question behind Brainflight is: "Is it possible to control an aircraft using solely the signals emitted from the human brain, without any other intermediary control devices? The capability to guide and control an aircraft using the brain is a radically new approach that the consortium believes could eventually decrease the complexity of cockpit environments [..]." This project makes use of Elitac hardware and expertise.
If you have a great idea about a specific application of a tactile solution, do not hesitate to contact us. Our highly adaptable hardware/software product combinations can be adjusted to your specification and needs.
Do you want to work with us on new tactile applications?
Send us an email with your ideas!