Sapien LLC was formed in the spring of 2014 by founders Joel Moritz Jr, and Dr. John Williams.
Sapien sponsors and collaborates on neuroscience, prosthetic, and veterinary research at Colorado State University. We are interested in developing and using technology to enable and enhance people. We have developed a number of research tools and software packages that are currently used in university studies involving humans and animals. We work with researchers and entrepreneurs to move this technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.
We have a team of mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineers, and we collaborate with local developers for our web related projects.
Our team has published manuscripts in neuroscience and assistive technology journals. We have over 25 years combined experience in industry.
Non reparative solutions to damaged or impaired sensory systems have proven highly
effective in many applications but are generally underutilized. For auditory disorders, traditional
reparative solutions such as hearing aids and implant technology are limited in their ability to
treat neurological causes of hearing loss. A method to provide auditory information to a user via
the lingual nerve is proposed.
Malfunctioning sensory systems can severely impact quality of life and repair is not always possible. One solution, called sensory substitution, is to use another sensory system to bring lost information to the brain. This approach often involves the use of bioengineered devices that electrically stimulate somatosensory fibers. Interestingly, the tongue is an ideal location for electrotactile stimulation due to its dense innervation, moisture, and protected environment. Success with transmitting visual and vestibular information through the tongue indicates promise for future applications. However, sensitivity and discrimination ability varies between individuals and across the tongue surface complicating efforts to produce reliable and consistent sensations.
Sensory substitution – or the practice of mapping information from one sensory modality to
another – has been shown to be a viable technique for non-invasive sensory replacement and
augmentation. With the rise in popularity, ubiquity, and capability of mobile devices and wearable
electronics, sensory substitution research has seen a resurgence in recent years. Due to the standard
features of mobile/wearable electronics such as Bluetooth, multicore processing, and audio recording,
these devices can be used to drive sensory substitution systems
President and Founder - Joel (JJ) has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. He has extensive research experience, manages projects at Sapien LLC, does mechanical and electrical design, and firmware.
Founder - John is the spiritual leader of Sapien LLC. His early experiments spawned the company and he continues to be a key adviser. John is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineer at CSU.
Lead Electrical Engineer - Matt has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, as well as an MBA. He has over 25 years of experience as an electrical engineer, and has designed power sources, consumer printer/scanners, and research equipment at Advanced Energy, HP, and CSU. He does most of the advanced electronic and PCB design at Sapien, manages compliance and certifications, and does most hand-soldering and electronic rework.
Lead Mechanical Engineer - Ian has a bachelors’ degree in mechanical engineering and has published prosthetic device research. He does most of the mechanical and manufacturing design work at Sapien LLC, has been known to dabble in firmware, and runs our CNC machine which he primarily uses to make molds for plastic parts and components.
Electrical and Biomedical Engineer - Tom has bachelor’s degrees in both electrical and biomedical engineering. He has considerable firmware and biomedical signal processing experience. He writes, validates, and manages most of the firmware updates on Sapien designed products, is our resident assembly code specialist, and is Sapien's unofficial data scientist.
Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering intern - Emily is currently working on bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering. Emily has designed research tools and assisted with the collaborative research we perform with CSU, performs many of the manufacturing processes at Sapien, and has been responsible creating and documenting most of the examples on our Github for our open source sensory substitution tool. She also runs the pick and place machine and reflow oven at Sapien LLC.
Collaborator - Dr. Stone-Roy is a neurobiologist and tongue expert at CSU and regularly collaborates with Sapien on research.
Collaborator- Marco is a contract engineer and electronic music artist who we have collaborated with on research and products for the past several years.