Vestibular Response Tracker and Visual Compensator

Period of Performance: 05/07/1998 - 05/07/2000

$747K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The wide acceptance of head mounted displays (HMDs) both in the military below decks and for commercial use has been limited by their tendency to cause motion sickness. In order to address motion sickness problem due to HMDs, POC proposes to design, develop, and demonstrate an Automatic Vestibular Compensator. The proposed Automatic Vestibular Compensator (AVC) will prevent motion sickness in HMD users. In the AVC, inertial sensors sense the forces affecting the HMD user's head, estimating its position and projecting an artificial horizon in the HMD. Since the eyes see an artificial horizon movement that agrees with the position indicated by the vestibular organs of the inner ear, no conflict occurs between the two and motion sickness is avoided. The proposed AVC system relies upon microelectronic mechanical sensors to sense inertial forces, so that the system directly detects the same parameters as the vestibular systems and is immune to interference -- unlike magnetic and ultrasonic systems. The information is analyzed by unique fuzzy/Kalman filter software. The resulting textured artificial horizon image is merged in the HMD data displays, where it appears in peripheral vision, subconsciously giving the operator visual cues to his orientation.