Direct Drive Force Feedback Man-Machine Interface (Fly-by-Wire-Compatible Force Feedback Joystick)

Period of Performance: 03/30/2000 - 03/30/2002

$749K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Engineering Matters, Inc.
375 Elliot Street, Suite 130K
Newton, MA 02464
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

The innovation presented in the proposed research effort is the design of a direct dirve, high performance, low cost, light weight, zero backlash, low friction, force feedback joystick with very high bandwidth and very high reliability. This high performance joystick will be designed utilizing a two-degree of freedom sperical motor for use as the force feedback actuator. The noncontact eletromagnetic drive means that there are no componenets in contact with the joystick other than the bearings. Because the system has no gears, cables, transmissions or moving parts other than the stick itself, the system is very rugged and reliable. The system is also fail-safe since there are no transmission componenets to bind. The direct force feedback joystick will be capable of providing a stick feel that can do much more than simulate the most desirable traits of traditional stick aircraft. Haptic information provided through the high fidelity stick force feedback systems can transfer critical information, such as navigation, stall onset, proximity to earth, or other parameters using the sense of feel, thus reducing demands on the pilot's visual system. The high performance joystick will be designed in close cooperation with a high volume commerical Fast Track partner named in the proposal. Through this association, the joystick will be rapidly brought to market.