NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 09.09-6601

PROJECT TITLE: Eye Tracking and Image Overlay for Improved Telerobotic Immersion

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Metrica's proposes to augment existing telerobotic interfaces with dual eye position control to independently control left and right vergence angles of a binocular camera system. This enhancement, coupled with an anthropomorphically-correct 6-DOF camera manipulator and a stereoscopic HMD, promises to alleviate most of the eye strain and nausea associated with fixed vergence camera systems. An additional improvement proposed is one that overlays the live video signals with graphics that are extracted from the observed scene. Edge detection and structured visual cues will present more information about the remote surroundings when the environment is visually occluded by dust particles or low light conditions. The proposed enhancements combine to offer a greater level of immersion with a telerobotic interface that is presently available with extant systems.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The commercial prospects for these technologies are numerous. As a complete system, the most notable applications are in space-based NASA extra-vehicular activity operations and in underwater inspection or ship salvage. Individual components of the total system can be offered as complete products, contributing further marketing potential. The 6-DOF camera base itself is a likely product alongside other PTV heads with lesser features. Combining the head tracker, HMD, and dual eye trackers creates a product that would find use in virtual reality and computer gaming applications, along with some unique applications not possible with current technology.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Bryn Wolfe
Metrica
1012 Hercules Drive
Houston , TX 77058-2722

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Metrica Inc.
10010 San Pedro, Suite 400
San Antonio , TX 78216-3856