In the CHROME (Collaborative Haptics, Robotics, and Mechatronics) Lab our research is centered on how we can promote effective human-machine interaction in numerous applications

In the CHROME Lab, our research is centered on how we can effectively promote effective human-machine interaction in numerous applications including education, medicine, and consumer technologies. We are particularly interested in the role of haptics (touch) in enhancing existing interaction capabilities and promoting entirely new levels that currently are not possible.

The overarching mission of the CHROME Lab is to engineer for the benefit of society. The CHROME Lab is a place where engineers work collaboratively with professionals to create new technologies that make the world a better place.

In medicine, we are working with neurosurgeons to design steerable devices that can ablate tumors in the brain through a single, small hole in the skull. With SLU’s medical school right next to the main campus, we can frequently meet with surgeons to brainstorm new ideas and progress on current ones, and we often get to observe the surgeries that we are working to improve. The CHROME Lab has recently joined forces with SLU neurosurgeon, Dr. Bucholz and his talented team to perform automated neurological assessments toward increasing the accuracy of post-surgical assessments of ICU patients and ensuring that no evaluations are missed due to heavy staff workloads.

In consumer technologies, we are building the next generation of touchscreens that will enable individuals to physically “feel” objects being displayed on screen. Imagine a touchscreen experience where you no longer feel the glass surface, but instead, you can feel textures such as slippery, sticky, bumpy, or smooth. Imagine having to no longer constantly look at the screen in order to navigate on it, but instead, being able to feel your way around the screen. This is the experience the CHROME Lab is working to create.

In education, we are exploring how we can use vibrations and sounds on touchscreens to enhance the accessibility of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Because much of the content in STEM disciplines is visual, it’s challenging for nonvisual learners, particularly those that are blind or visually impaired, to have equal opportunities in these disciplines. In this project, we work to promote a more inclusive, universal experience for students of all learning styles and are interested in understanding how we can leverage new touch capabilities to do this.

In the CHROME Lab, we make fundamental advancements in the areas of haptics and human-machine interfaces, but also translate our work out of our lab, such that it can make a difference beyond our walls. Graduate and undergraduate students work side by side with medical professionals, experts in education, start-ups, and industry partners to bring about a better tomorrow.

The CHROME Lab is a laboratory in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at Saint Louis University.

  • Jen Tennison has been named a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow!!! What an accomplishment! The CHROME Lab is very proud of Jen and happy to have her in the lab - Congratulations Jen!

  • Dr. Gorlewicz’s start-up, ViTAL, has been awarded an NSF SBIR Phase II grant for their work on propelling real-time, multisensory learning into digital graphics in STEM classrooms. More info here: Awesome!

  • Trevor’s paper titled “HUE: A Hybrid Ultrasonic and Electrostatic Variable Friction Touchscreen” has been accepted for presentation at WorldHaptics 2017! Congrats Trevor!

  • The CHROME Lab welcomes Kyle Deprow, a new M.S. ME candidate working on the telerobotic project and the steerable guide project. We are glad to have Kyle joining the CHROME Lab - welcome Kyle!

  • The CHROME Lab is awarded a National Science Foundation Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) grant titled “Perceptual and Implementation Strategies for Knowledge Acquisition of Digital Tactile Graphics for Blind and Visually Impaired Students” which will begin in January 2017.

  • The CHROME Lab is awarded a National Science Foundation Cyber-Human Systems grant titled “CHS: Small: Collaborative Research: Increasing Social Connectedness in Telerobotic Platforms Through Adding Gesture Capabilities.” We are excited to start working on this project!

  • The CHROME Lab welcome James Slack, a new MS. ME candidate at Parks! James will be working on the steerable guide project in the lab. Welcome James!

  • CHROME Lab SURE undergraduate researcher, Andrew Zeiss, successfully completes his summer research internship with us. Congrats Andrew!

  • Jen Tennison presents her paper “Toward non-visual graphics representations on vibratory touchscreens: Shape exploration and identification” at Eurohaptics 2016. Well done Jen!

  • Trevor Smith presents work on variable friction touchscreens, titled “Using modal superposition for generating localized tactile effects on variable friction touchscreens” at HAPTICS 2016. Great job Trevor!

  • Dr. Gorlewicz was invited to give an oral presentation of the paper “Design of a steerable guide for laser interstitial thermal therapy of brain tumors” at the DMD 2016 conference.