The Tactile Research Laboratory at NAMRL

Research Projects

Summaries indicated by links are saved as pdf files

(draft - work in progress)

      Dr. Cholewiak has been associated with the Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory since 1995, when the Advanced Technology Demonstration Project for the Tactile Situation Awareness System (TSAS) began.  At that time, he served the project's P. I., CAPT Angus Rupert, USN, as a consultant and liaison with the tactile research community.  His formal research activities began at NAMRL in 2000 when he was appointed as a quarter-time "IPA" (on an Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment) through Princeton University.  At that time, he opened the Tactile Research Laboratory and began his first project, exploring vibrotactile localization on the trunk of the body, with Chris Brill, his first research assistant at NAMRL.  Mr. Brill's participation was invaluable - having an electronic background in acoustics, he was able to participate in the construction of the laboratory at all levels, and tested the majority of the subjects in the studies described in the link.  In 2002, on completion of that project, funding was sought and awarded for the next project in this series, exploring the optimal methods of presenting apparent motion on the abdomen using arrays of vibrotactile stimulators.  Although Mr. Brill was on his way to graduate work at the University of Central Florida, we were fortunate to obtain the services of Ms. Kristy Beede as the laboratory's new Research Assistant.  At the same time, we were joined by Ms. Anja Schwab, a visiting scientist from Germany. Ms. Schwab took on several of the projects in this series of research studies to serve as the core of her dissertation research towards a doctorate, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Rupert Hoelzl at Mannheim University in Germany.  Funding for the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery program that supported that research was terminated after one year, despite a three year award, but a considerable amount of work was able to be completed, as indicated by the attached links.  After Ms. Schwab's departure in 2003, a three-year grant was awarded to Dr. Cholewiak for work on two-dimensional tactile tracking using TSAS-like arrays on the abdomen. This ability was tested with a number of displays and different tactor types.  Soon after, a follow-up project exploring multimodal targeting using visual and tactile displays was started after a hiatus.  At the start of this program, Mr. Chris McGrath joined the laboratory, and served as the primary contact for all subjects tested during this study's brief but successful period of support.  Again, funding for the Naval Bureau of Medicine and Surgery program that supported this program of research terminated early, after less than a year.  Nevertheless, within the 8-months of support, sufficient work was completed to lead to a paper to be presented at a professional meeting in 2006. 

(draft - work in progress)


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Updated: Jan 06