Braille Display with Electroactive Polymer Actuators

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The objective of this EBRG program is to develop novel actuator technology for refreshable full-page Braille display and graphic display. Despite many years of R&D efforts to reduce the cost of the refreshable Braille display and to develop new technologies which can be used to produce practical full page Braille play and graphite Braille display, the Piezo Braille displays are still the dominating form for the refreshable Braille display. The bulky size, high cost, and fragility of the piezo-actuators make it impractical to use them for refreshable full-page Braille displays.

    In recent years, we have developed several novel electroactive polymers which generate strain two order of magnitude and elastic energy density one order of magnitude higher than these in the piezoceramics used in the commercial refreshable Braille displays. In this EBRG program, we will make use of this class of polymers to develop low cost, robust, compact actuators (order of magnitude reduction in size while maintaining same actuation capability) to replace the piezoceramic bimorphes, which will make the full-page Braille display and graphic display possible and practical.

    This EBRG program will combine the expertise at Penn State in the electroactive polymers and in actuator development with the expertise at View Plus on the Braille display. This combined expertise provides unique opportunity to develop these compact actuators to be directly transitioned to practical refreshable graphite Braille display and full page Braille display.
    Effective start/end date8/1/057/31/08