Our Approach & Overview

Our research addresses the ways in which humans interact and experience technology through:

1) The design and evaluation of creative cutting-edge technologies to improve environmental awareness, spatial learning, and navigational wayfinding. This can impact older adults, people with visual impairments, and visually distracted individuals (e.g. people texting while walking). We pride ourselves on researching technology to adhere to blind and visually impaired (BVI) technology, as well as for spatial wayfinding. 

2) Development of new bio-inspired feedback devices to improve functionality of modern technologies (e.g. detecting cleanliness on publicly used touchscreens and other interfaces).

3) Studying human vehicle collaboration (HVC) for optimizing the efficiency, comfort, and safety within autonomous vehicles (the fastest growing, yet least studied class of transportation).

photo of students and staff participation in Rapid Research Week 2020
Photo taken from VEMI’s Rapid Research Week 2020 featuring 7 teams comprised of 30 students, staff, and faculty. Each team is posed with a different research question and throughout the week they must design, develop, run, analyze, and present their results. This provides the students with a condensed but practical, hands-on research experience.

Current Funded Research Projects

2020 UMaine/NU AI, “Combining Real-Time Deep Learning and Human-Vehicle Collaboration Techniques in Autonomous Vehicles to Assist Older and Visually Impaired Passengers” ;  (N.A. Giudice, UMaine (PI) with R.R. Corey, UMaine (Co-PI), G. Beals, UMaine (Co-PI), X. Lin, Northeastern University (Co-PI), and M. Sun, Northeastern University (Co-PI)). 

2020 TIDC, “Jetport Automated Shuttle: Demonstration for Durability and Safety” ; (J. Rubin, UMaine (PI) with R.R. Corey, UMaine(Co-PI), N.A.Giudice, UMaine (Co-PI), K. Ballingall, UMaine (Co-PI), and A. Shirazi, UMaine (Co-PI)).

2020 NIH, “Development of a Visual-To-Tactile Conversion System for Automating Tactile Graphic Generation Process” ; (R.R. Corey, UMaine(PI), with Palani, Hari Prasath (PI), UNAR Labs).

2020 NSF, “Development of a Multimodal Interface for improving  independence of Blind and Visually-Impaired people: Phase II”; (R.R. Corey, UMaine PI; with H.P. Palani (PI) and N.A. Giudice, Unar Labs).

2019  NSF, “Improving User Trust of Autonomous Vehicles through Human-Vehicle Collaboration”; (N.A. Giudice, UMaine (PI) and R.R. Corey, UMaine).

2019  NSF, “Development of a Multimodal Interface for Improving Independence of Blind and Visually-Impaired people: Phase I”; (R.R. Corey, UMaine (PI); with H.P. Palani (PI) and N.A. Giudice, Unar Labs).

2018  NEH, “Preservation and access research and development”; Accessible Civil Rights Heritage Proposal; (N.A. Giudice, UMaine (PI); with R.R. Corey, (UMaine) and M. Williams (PI); J. Bell, Dartmouth College). 

2018  NSF, “A remote multimodal learning environment to increase graphical information access for Blind and Visually Impaired students”; (N.A. Giudice, (PI); with J.K. Dimmel, UMaine; and S.A. Doore, Bowdoin College).