Nano-optical mechanical actuation based on nanotube-enriched polymeric materials is a much sought-after technology. In this scheme, light sources promote mechanical actuation of the polymeric materials producing a variety of nano–optical mechanical systems such as tactile displays, artificial muscles, and nano-grippers among others. The purpose of the NOMS project is to fabricate microsystems capable of light-induced mechanical actuation. In particular, the team proposes to build a visual-aid tablet for the blind or partially-sighted. Accomplishing this ambitious project requires knowledge of basic and integrating research within the field. It also requires the contribution of expert neuropsychologists to study, in cooperation with end-users, the effectiveness of the tablet both as an assistive tool for the visually impaired and as a research tool in the field of neuropsychology. The consortium is formed by experts in the areas of materials, optics, microsystems, neuropsychology, as well as end users, who will fabricate the first visual aid tablet. This well-balanced team possesses a unique combination of talent to guarantee achievement of the project objectives. The NOMS approach ensures that a solution (photo-actuated nanomaterials) will be provided to a particular problem (fast-refreshed portable visual-aid devices). NOMS will provide tactile screens for the visually impaired to read complex visual representations such as mathematical equations and graphical images. Everyday activities of such individuals will be greatly improved by including these devices in ATMs, personal computers, mobile telephones etc. This project is visionary with respect to some of the mainstream R&D directions, offering European industry a competitive advantage in the assistive technology marketplace worldwide. Appropriate industrial partnerships with adequate technology transfer experience have been included in the consortium with the purpose of thorough exploitation of the technology.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project
SN6 8TY Swindon