Consulting for Textron Automotive, the team designed hardware and software for use in a new series of intelligent/adaptive surface products used in automotives and other products. The “Active Surface Control Technologies” products are based on a proprietary algorithm for measuring comfort via tactile pressure and utilize a variety of Motorola 68HCx11 and PIC16Cxx microcontrollers. Units were incorporated in Cadillac’s STS series for 3 model years. We were responsible for all the hardware, firmware, and manufacturing testers. DEKA Research and Development developed custom piezo based solenoid valves to keep electrical and audible noise and power consumption to a minimum. The product received ‘Best of What’s New’ in Popular Science January 1998, Automotive section.
The team has also designed and developed demonstrations for Cadillac’s’ use at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) show in 1995, 96 and 97. The 1997 demonstration was an adaptive seat interconnected to a PC running custom DirectX-Dirext3D software depicting the pressure in 8 bladders in real-time on a rendered automobile seat.