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Development and Application of a Wireless, Networked Raspberry Pi Controlled Head Mounted Tactile Display (HMTD)

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2014,01 Jul 2016

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US Army Research Laboratory Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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As the head-mounted tactile displays HMTDs efficacy in augmenting Warfighter performance was studied and transitioned from lab-based to field experimentation, the need for a portable and robust system emerged. Previously, a Windows-based netbook computer was used as a tactor controller but its size, weight, and power consumption limited its use as a wearable, outdoor device. Raspberry Pi RPi, part of the wearable computer trend, became an ideal replacement. The RPis size and weight support HMTD portability the ad hoc wireless-networking mode allows a network of them to move freely while communicating with one another without a centralized infrastructure. This is critical to field studies where team tactile communication, on the move or in a highly dynamic setting, is a priority. This report details the development of RPi as a tactor controller and fills informational gaps during development of the RPi-controlled HMTD. It lists procedural steps in setting up the RPi and dealing with its functions and operations a guiding manual for the RPis use as a low-cost controller to power prototypes for field studies. While this report applies specifically to the RPis development as a tactor controller, we believe the procedures are of general interest and applicable for mobile experimentations.

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