United States Patent: 8028644

United States Patent: 8028644

United States Patent 8,028,644
Wagner ,   et al. October 4, 2011

Cable driven tactor

A tactor system transforms cable motion to tactor motion. A housing defining a plane is adapted for placement proximate to the skin of a user. A cable is operative to deform a tactor element in the housing, causing a portion of the element to move outwardly from the plane of the housing, thereby imparting a tactile sensation to the user's skin. For example, tension on the cable may cause a strip of flexible plastic or other suitable material to bend at a living hinge that moves outwardly from the plane of the housing. The cable may be driven by an actuator including. Two or more tactor elements may be disposed next to each other or in the same housing, with different elements being activated at different times to enhance the apparent frequency of the stimulus. For example, a reciprocating mechanism may be used to operate a pair of tactor elements out of phase with respect to one another. The cable may be controlled by a remote reciprocating mechanism, with a physical quick disconnect mechanism provided between the reciprocating mechanism and the cable.

Inventors: Wagner; Christopher R. (Simi Valley, CA), Christiana; Amanda (Ann Arbor, MI), Jacobus; Charles J. (Ann Arbor, MI)
Assignee: Cybernet Systems Corporation (Ann Arbor, MI)
Appl. No.: 12/272,922
Filed: November 18, 2008

Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent NumberIssue Date
60992163Dec., 2007

Current U.S. Class: 116/205 ; 74/469
Current International Class: G08B 6/00 (20060101); G09B 21/00 (20060101)
Field of Search: 116/205 74/469 340/407.1,407.2 414/5 434/112 601/97,101,103,107,108,111,DIG.20

References Cited [Referenced By]

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Foreign Patent Documents

Nov., 2001
Jul., 2001
Primary Examiner: Smith; Richard A.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Gifford, Krass, Sprinkle, Anderson & Citkowski, P.C.

Government Interests


This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. N68335-07-C-0259 awarded by the United States Navy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.