Braille Display Using EAP

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective of this program is to develop novel electroactive polymer (EAP) actuator technology for refreshable full page Braille display and graphic display. Built upon the experiences and successful foundation laid by a R21 program, the goal of this work is to design and develop electroactive polymer Braille actuators with optimized performance, low cost, compact size, and high reliability and reproducibility. EAPs composition and processing conductions will be improved and optimized. Fabrication set-ups and processing procedures necessary for mass producing these Braille actuators with low fabrication cost will also be designed and developed. Braille cells will be designed and developed which can directly replace the piezoceramic actuator based Braille cell in the current single line refreshable Braille display and suitable for multiline and full page displays. The overall intent of this program is to expedite the creation of low cost, compact size, lightweight, and user friendly refreshable Braille displays, based on electroactive polymer actuators, that can directly replace the currently marketed cost-prohibitive Braille single line and can be easily implemented for multiline and full page Braille displays, thus allowing for the widespread access to those who would benefit from the use of such devices. A low cost multiline and full page refreshable Braille display system is needed so that the blind and visually impaired can more effectively access computer based information, enhancing their education and employment opportunities, and improving their quality of life. In recent years, we have developed several novel electroactive polymers which generate strain two orders of magnitude and elastic energy denisty one order of magnitute higher than these in the piezoceramics used in the commercial refreshable Braille displays. The results obtained by the R21 program show great promise that the EAP actuators under development can be successfully used for Braille actuators. This program will combine the expertise at Zhang's group in the electroactive polymers and in actuator development with the expertise at Rahn's group in mechatronic desigh that couples electrical and mechanical components in novel devices. The program at Penn State will be complemented by the expertises at ViewPlus on the Braille display. This combined experties provides unique opportunity to develop these compact Braille actuators with low cost, compact size, and optimized performance to be directly transitioned to practical refreshable graphite Braille display and full page Braille display. [unreadable]
    Effective start/end date8/1/087/31/12