Wired has a great article about the use of robot arms by people with Quadriplegia.
It’s definately worth a read as it surfaces some important considerations around such things as:
- the importance of feedback mechanisms from devices,
- the sense of being in control to the degree one’s abilities allow,
- the importance of quality user testing and input from the ones who are the perceived users of a device/system,
- how in this field qualitative trumps quantitative measurement,
- prevention of technology abandonment
and many other issues not often brought to light in such a clearly seen fashion and example.
As a preview, here’s some choice snippets from the article:
Regardless of the extent of their disability or whether they were using a touchscreen, mouse, joystick, or voice controls, they preferred using the arm on manual. The more experience they had with tech, the happier they were.
To users accustomed to navigating the world in a wheelchair — and frequently having to explain how their chair worked to others — this made the arm both more familiar and more useful. It felt less like an alien presence, and more like a tool: a natural extension of the body and the will. .. This feeling is essential for anyone’s satisfaction using technology, but particularly so for disabled users…
Do yourself a favour and head to Wired to Read More