The triumphant project, titled “Capacitive MEMS Sensors for High-Resolution Interactive Vibrotactile Displays”, was submitted by a team of engineers from the University of Bath. Entrants from the University of Malta and Delft University of Technology (DUT) came second and third respectively. As a reward, the University of Bath project will now be included in a multi-project wafer (MPW) run that utilizes X-Fab’s XMB10 MEMS process (which is highly optimized for multi-axis sensor implementations).
Vibrotactile displays have been proposed as an assistive technology via which it would be possible for people with visual impairments to perceive graphical information using touch. The members of the University of Bath team, who are based in the Faculty of Engineering & Design, have been focused on this project for the last 18 months. Working in conjunction with several other departments within the university (Computer Science, Psychology and Education), they have been able to develop a high-resolution vibrotactile display prototype.
With access to a pilot run, which will be undertaken at X-Fab’s Erfurt production facility, they will now gain access to cutting-edge sensor IC devices that will allow them to further enhance their design concept, and take it closer to future volume production. The MPW fabrication run will commence in late May.