Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5607

Search results for: assistive technology

5607 PYTHEIA: A Scale for Assessing Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics

Authors: Yiannis Koumpouros, Effie Papageorgiou, Alexandra Karavasili, Foteini Koureta

Abstract:

The objective of the present study was to develop a scale called PYTHEIA. The PYTHEIA is a self-reported measure for the assessment of rehabilitation and assistive robotics and other assistive technology devices. The development of PYTHEIA faced the absence of a valid instrument that can be used to evaluate the assistive robotic devices both as a whole, as well as any of their individual components or functionalities implemented. According to the results presented, PYTHEIA is a valid and reliable scale able to be applied to different target groups for the subjective evaluation of various assistive technology devices.

Keywords: rehabilitation, assistive technology, assistive robots, rehabilitation robots, scale, psychometric test, assessment, validation, user satisfaction

Procedia PDF Downloads 175
5606 Disability, Technology and Inclusion: Fostering and Inclusive Pedagogical Approach in an Interdisciplinary Project

Authors: M. Lopez-Pereyra, I. Cisneros Alvarado, M. Del Socorro Lobato Alba

Abstract:

This paper aims to discuss a conceptual, pedagogical approach that foster inclusive education and that create an awareness of the use of assistive technology in Mexico. Interdisciplinary understanding of disabilities and the use of assistive technology as a frame for an inclusive education have challenged the reality of the researchers’ participation in decision-making. Drawing upon a pedagogical inquiry process within an interdisciplinary academic project that involved the sciences, design, biotechnology, psychology and education fields, this paper provides a discussion on the challenges of assistive technology and inclusive education in interdisciplinary research on disabilities and technology project. This study is frame on an educational action research design where the team is interested in integrating, disability, technology, and inclusion, theory, and practice. Major findings include: (1) the concept of inclusive education as a strategy for interdisciplinary research; (2) inclusion as a pedagogical approach that challenges the creation of assistive technology from diverse academic fields; and, (3) inclusion as a frame, problem-focused, for decision-making. The findings suggest that inclusive pedagogical approaches provide a unique insight into interdisciplinary teams on disability and assistive technology in education.

Keywords: assistive technology, inclusive education, inclusive pedagogy, interdisciplinary research

Procedia PDF Downloads 54
5605 Students Competencies in the Use of Computer Assistive Technology at Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern of Ghana

Authors: Joseph Ampratwum, Yaw Nyadu Offei, Afua Ntoaduro, Frank Twum

Abstract:

The use of computer assistive technology has captured the attention of individuals with visual impairment. Children with visual impairments who are tactual learners have one unique need which is quite different from all other disability groups. They depend on the use of computer assistive technology for reading, writing, receiving information and sending information as well. The objective of the study was to assess students’ competencies in the use of computer assistive technology at Akropong School for the Blind in Ghana. This became necessary because little research has been conducted to document the competencies and challenges in the use of computer among students with visual impairments in Africa. A case study design with a mixed research strategy was adopted for the study. A purposive sampling technique was used to sample 35 students from Akropong School for the Blind in the eastern region of Ghana. The researcher gathered both quantitative and qualitative data to measure students’ competencies in keyboarding skills and Job Access with Speech (JAWS), as well as the other challenges. The findings indicated that comparatively students’ competency in keyboard skills was higher than JAWS application use. Thus students had reached higher stages in the conscious competencies matrix in the former than the latter. It was generally noted that challenges limiting effective use of students’ competencies in computer assistive technology in the School were more personal than external influences. This was because most of the challenges were due to the individual response to the training and familiarity in developing their competencies in using computer assistive technology. Base on this it was recommended that efforts should be made to stock up the laboratory with additional computers. Directly in line with the first recommendation, it was further suggested that more practice time should be created for the students to maximize computer use. Also Licensed JAWS must be acquired by the school to advance students’ competence in using computer assistive technology.

Keywords: computer assistive technology, job access with speech, keyboard, visual impairment

Procedia PDF Downloads 238
5604 Design for Sentiment-ancy: Conceptual Framework to Improve User’s Well-Being Through Fostering Emotional Attachment in the Use Experience With Their Assistive Devices

Authors: Seba Quqandi

Abstract:

This study investigates the bond that people form using their assistive devices and the tactics applied during the product design process to help improve the user experience leading to a long-term product relationship. The aim is to develop a conceptual framework with which to describe and analyze the bond people form with their assistive devices and to integrate human emotions as a factor during the development of the product design process. The focus will be on the assistive technology market, namely, the Aid-For-Daily-Living market for situational impairments, to increase the quality of wellbeing. Findings will help us better understand the real issues of the product experience concerning people’s interaction throughout the product performance, establish awareness of the emotional effects in the daily interaction that fosters the product attachment, and help product developers and future designers create a connection between users and their assistive devices. The research concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for professionals and academics in the form of experiments in order to identify new areas that can stimulate new /or developed design directions.

Keywords: experience design, interaction design, emotion, design psychology, assistive tools, customization, userentred design

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5603 Using Assistive Technologies in Teaching Children with Disabilities in Jordan: Teachers' Perceptions

Authors: Kholoud Adeeb. Al-Dababneh

Abstract:

This study aimed at investigating teachers' perceptions of using assistive technologies in teaching children with disabilities in Jordan. The researcher developed a study instrument (questionnaire) to examine teachers' perceptions regarding the use of assistive technologies in teaching children with disabilities. The validity and reliability of the research instrument were checked. A random sample of 260 teachers who teach children with disabilities participated in the study by completing the questionnaire; fifteen teachers were later interviewed. Results revealed that the use of assistive technology by teachers in teaching children with disabilities was high. The results also revealed that there are statistically significant differences at (α= .05) according to the type of disability in favor of teachers of children with specific learning disabilities (SLD), according to educational settings in favor of local public schools (inclusion settings). The results revealed that there were no statistically significant differences attributed to the teacher's level of education and teachers' gender. In light of the study results, the researcher addressed several recommendations and future implications.

Keywords: assistive technologies, children with disabilities, Jordan, teachers

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5602 New HCI Design Process Education

Authors: Jongwan Kim

Abstract:

Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is a subject covering the study, plan, and design of interactions between humans and computers. The prevalent use of digital mobile devices is increasing the need for education and research on HCI. This work is focused on a new education method geared towards reducing errors while developing application programs that incorporate role-changing brainstorming techniques during HCI design process. The proposed method has been applied to a capstone design course in the last spring semester. Students discovered some examples about UI design improvement and their error discovering and reducing capability was promoted. An UI design improvement, PC voice control for people with disabilities as an assistive technology examplar, will be presented. The improvement of these students' design ability will be helpful to the real field work.

Keywords: HCI, design process, error reducing education, role-changing brainstorming, assistive technology

Procedia PDF Downloads 399
5601 Modeling and Control of a 4DoF Robotic Assistive Device for Hand Rehabilitation

Authors: Christopher Spiewak, M. R. Islam, Mohammad Arifur Rahaman, Mohammad H. Rahman, Roger Smith, Maarouf Saad

Abstract:

For those who have lost the ability to move their hand, going through repetitious motions with the assistance of a therapist is the main method of recovery. We have been developed a robotic assistive device to rehabilitate the hand motions in place of the traditional therapy. The developed assistive device (RAD-HR) is comprised of four degrees of freedom enabling basic movements, hand function, and assists in supporting the hand during rehabilitation. We used a nonlinear computed torque control technique to control the RAD-HR. The accuracy of the controller was evaluated in simulations (MATLAB/Simulink environment). To see the robustness of the controller external disturbance as modelling uncertainty (±10% of joint torques) were added in each joints.

Keywords: biorobotics, rehabilitation, robotic assistive device, exoskeleton, nonlinear control

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5600 A New Mechanical Architecture Design of a Multifunctional Bed for Bedridden Healthcare

Authors: Rogelio Portillo Vélez, Eduardo Vázquez-Santacruz, Mariano Gamboa-Zúñiga

Abstract:

In this paper a new mechanical architecture design of a multi functional robot bed, is presented. The importance of this design relies on the fact that in next years the need of assistive devices development will increase in such way that elderly patients will use this kind of devices. This mechanical design implies following specific mechanisms which attend Mexican hospital requirements. This design is the base of next step of this kind of development given that it shows all technical details of the mechanical systems which are needed in order to construct the bed. This is first hospital bed design which could responds to the Latin America hospital requirements. We have obtained these hospital requirements using our diagnosis methodology [14]. From these results we have designed the mechanical system. This is the mechanical base of the hospital robotic bed which is being developed in our robotics laboratory. It will be useful in different hospital environments for elderly and disabled patients.

Keywords: assistive robotics, methodology, feasibility analysis, robotics, operational feasibility, assistive technology, viability analysis matrix, social impact

Procedia PDF Downloads 264
5599 Control Strategies for a Robot for Interaction with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Vinicius Binotte, Guilherme Baldo, Christiane Goulart, Carlos Valadão, Eliete Caldeira, Teodiano Bastos

Abstract:

Socially assistive robotic has become increasingly active and it is present in therapies of people affected for several neurobehavioral conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In fact, robots have played a significant role for positive interaction with children with ASD, by stimulating their social and cognitive skills. This work introduces a mobile socially-assistive robot, which was built for interaction with children with ASD, using non-linear control techniques for this interaction.

Keywords: socially assistive robotics, mobile robot, autonomous control, autism

Procedia PDF Downloads 284
5598 A Systematic Review on Assistive Technology Robotics in Lower and Middle-Income Settings

Authors: Sumudu Sameera Perera Kimmantudawage, Chapal Khasnabis

Abstract:

Technology is changing at a rapid rate, with innovations in robotics being hailed and tested in countries such as Japan, the United States and Australia, however the conversation in a public health context is stagnant. While obvious barriers to robotics use in low and middle-income countries and regions exist, the avoidance of attempting to address these regions of the world may potentially lead to an ever-increasing divide between those of high income countries and those of less. A systematic review was undertaken to determine the number of projects involving research, development and testing of robotics considered low and middle-income regions. Major findings indicate that an overwhelmingly significant number of projects failed to consider low and middle-income countries or regions. These results are unsurprising however alarming, as bridging the divide is an important step forward in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. It is hoped that this research would spawn future robotics research that focusses on lower and middle-income regions.

Keywords: assistive technology, health equality, robotics, socioeconomic

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5597 Assistive Technologies and the 'Myth' of Independent Living: A Sociological Understanding of Assistive Technologies for Locomotor Disabled in India

Authors: Pavani K. Sree, Ragahava Reddy Chandri

Abstract:

Independent living and living with dignity have been the hallmarks of the movement of the persons with disabilities across the globe against the oppression perpetuated by society in the form of social and physical structural barriers. Advancements in assistive technologies have been providing a new lease of life to persons with disabilities. However, access to these technologies is marred by the issues of affordability and availability. Poor from the developing countries find it difficult to make independent living or live with dignity because of lack of access and inability to afford the advance technologies. Class and gender appear to be key factors influencing the access to modern assistive technologies. The present paper attempts to understand the dynamics of class and gender in accessing advanced technologies in the Indian context. Based on an empirical study in which data were collected from persons with locomotor disabilities and service providers, the paper finds that the advance technologies are expensive and inaccessible to all persons with disabilities. The paper also finds that men with disabilities are prioritized by the members of the family for the use of advance technologies while women with disabilities are forced to live with not so advanced technologies. The paper finds that the state institutions working in the field of prosthetics and assistive technologies fail to deliver to the requirements of the poor. It was found that because of lack of facilities at the state institutions the cost of prosthetics, in the case of orthopedically challenged, is expensive and unaffordable for the poor. It was found that while rich male access the private services the poor women depend on the state institutions. It may be said that the social, cultural stereotypes extend not only to the state organizations but also to the use of prosthetics. Thus the notions of independent living and living with dignity in third world countries context are still elusive.

Keywords: accessibility, assistive technology, class, gender, state

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5596 Social Assistive Robots, Reframing the Human Robotics Interaction Benchmark of Social Success

Authors: Antonio Espingardeiro

Abstract:

It is likely that robots will cross the boundaries of industry into households over the next decades. With demographic challenges worldwide, the future ageing populations will require the introduction of assistive technologies capable of providing, care, human dignity and quality of life through the aging process. Robotics technology has a high potential for being used in the areas of social and healthcare by promoting a wide range of activities such as entertainment, companionship, supervision or cognitive and physical assistance. However, such close Human Robotics Interactions (HRIs) encompass a rich set of ethical scenarios that need to be addressed before Socially Assistive Robots (SARs) reach the global markets. Such interactions with robots may seem a worthy goal for many technical/financial reasons but inevitably require close attention to the ethical dimensions of such interactions. This article investigates the current HRI benchmark of social success. It revises it according to the ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence and justice aligned with social care ethos. An extension of such benchmark is proposed based on an empirical study of HRIs with elderly groups.

Keywords: HRI, SARs, social success, benchmark, elderly care

Procedia PDF Downloads 409
5595 SLIITBOT: Design of a Socially Assistive Robot for SLIIT

Authors: Chandimal Jayawardena, Ridmal Mendis, Manoji Tennakoon, Theekshana Wijayathilaka, Randima Marasinghe

Abstract:

This research paper defines the research area of the implementation of the socially assistive robot (SLIITBOT). It consists of the overall process implemented within the robot’s system and limitations, along with a literature survey. This project considers developing a socially assistive robot called SLIITBOT that will interact using its voice outputs and graphical user interface with people within the university and benefit them with updates and tasks. The robot will be able to detect a person when he/she enters the room, navigate towards the position the human is standing, welcome and greet the particular person with a simple conversation using its voice, introduce the services through its voice, and provide the person with services through an electronic input via an app while guiding the person with voice outputs.

Keywords: application, detection, dialogue, navigation

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5594 Design of UV Based Unicycle Robot to Disinfect Germs and Communicate With Multi-Robot System

Authors: Charles Koduru, Parth Patel, M. Hassan Tanveer

Abstract:

In this paper, the communication between a team of robots is used to sanitize an environment with germs is proposed. We introduce capabilities from a team of robots (most likely heterogeneous), a wheeled robot named ROSbot 2.0 that consists of a mounted LiDAR and Kinect sensor, and a modified prototype design of a unicycle-drive Roomba robot called the UV robot. The UV robot consists of ultrasonic sensors to avoid obstacles and is equipped with an ultraviolet light system to disinfect and kill germs, such as bacteria and viruses. In addition, the UV robot is equipped with disinfectant spray to target hidden objects that ultraviolet light is unable to reach. Using the sensors from the ROSbot 2.0, the robot will create a 3-D model of the environment which will be used to factor how the ultraviolet robot will disinfect the environment. Together this proposed system is known as the RME assistive robot device or RME system, which communicates between a navigation robot and a germ disinfecting robot operated by a user. The RME system includes a human-machine interface that allows the user to control certain features of each robot in the RME assistive robot device. This method allows the cleaning process to be done at a more rapid and efficient pace as the UV robot disinfects areas just by moving around in the environment while using the ultraviolet light system to kills germs. The RME system can be used in many applications including, public offices, stores, airports, hospitals, and schools. The RME system will be beneficial even after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kennesaw State University will continue the research in the field of robotics, engineering, and technology and play its role to serve humanity.

Keywords: multi robot system, assistive robots, COVID-19 pandemic, ultraviolent technology

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5593 Fabricating an Assistive Knee Orthosis Using Miniature Pneumatic Artificial Muscles

Authors: Emily L. Petersen, Muh Amdadul Hoque, Xiaomeng Fang

Abstract:

Engineered medical technology is becoming of increased importance due to advances in the medical industry and demands from aging populations. New technology in physical therapy and rehabilitation practices is working to use advanced knowledge of the human body and mechanics to extend individual independence and improve quality of life. Integrating fiber-shaped pneumatic artificial muscles into medical braces is a new method of creating assistive devices. Harnessing force from the actuation of artificial muscles can produce a motion that aids the wearer in natural movement. It was found that optimal user knee flexion of over 60 degrees could be produced using a medical orthosis fitted with the actuators. Artificial muscles, six inches in length, incorporated in bundles of three and placed in series throughout the brace can sufficiently simulate natural human muscles by producing over 600N of force in a path that accomplishes the desired motion. The entire walking gait-cycle is accomplished with the brace relying on actuator relaxation to assist the user with full leg extension. This technology could help elderly patients remain independent by reducing the force required for movement on their weakening natural muscles. Additionally, injury rehabilitation could be tailored to individual needs due to independent brace construction and control methods.

Keywords: biomechanics, medical device, muscles, robotics

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5592 User Requirements Analysis for the Development of Assistive Navigation Mobile Apps for Blind and Visually Impaired People

Authors: Paraskevi Theodorou, Apostolos Meliones

Abstract:

In the context of the development process of two assistive navigation mobile apps for blind and visually impaired people (BVI) an extensive qualitative analysis of the requirements of potential users has been conducted. The analysis was based on interviews with BVIs and aimed to elicit not only their needs with respect to autonomous navigation but also their preferences on specific features of the apps under development. The elicited requirements were structured into four main categories, namely, requirements concerning the capabilities, functionality and usability of the apps, as well as compatibility requirements with respect to other apps and services. The main categories were then further divided into nine sub-categories. This classification, along with its content, aims to become a useful tool for the researcher or the developer who is involved in the development of digital services for BVI.

Keywords: accessibility, assistive mobile apps, blind and visually impaired people, user requirements analysis

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5591 Braille Lab: A New Design Approach for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Assistive Tools for the Visually Impaired

Authors: Claudio Loconsole, Daniele Leonardis, Antonio Brunetti, Gianpaolo Francesco Trotta, Nicholas Caporusso, Vitoantonio Bevilacqua

Abstract:

Unfortunately, many people still do not have access to communication, with specific regard to reading and writing. Among them, people who are blind or visually impaired, have several difficulties in getting access to the world, compared to the sighted. Indeed, despite technology advancement and cost reduction, nowadays assistive devices are still expensive such as Braille-based input/output systems which enable reading and writing texts (e.g., personal notes, documents). As a consequence, assistive technology affordability is fundamental in supporting the visually impaired in communication, learning, and social inclusion. This, in turn, has serious consequences in terms of equal access to opportunities, freedom of expression, and actual and independent participation to a society designed for the sighted. Moreover, the visually impaired experience difficulties in recognizing objects and interacting with devices in any activities of daily living. It is not a case that Braille indications are commonly reported only on medicine boxes and elevator keypads. Several software applications for the automatic translation of written text into speech (e.g., Text-To-Speech - TTS) enable reading pieces of documents. However, apart from simple tasks, in many circumstances TTS software is not suitable for understanding very complicated pieces of text requiring to dwell more on specific portions (e.g., mathematical formulas or Greek text). In addition, the experience of reading\writing text is completely different both in terms of engagement, and from an educational perspective. Statistics on the employment rate of blind people show that learning to read and write provides the visually impaired with up to 80% more opportunities of finding a job. Especially in higher educational levels, where the ability to digest very complex text is key, accessibility and availability of Braille plays a fundamental role in reducing drop-out rate of the visually impaired, thus affecting the effectiveness of the constitutional right to get access to education. In this context, the Braille Lab project aims at overcoming these social needs by including affordability in designing and developing assistive tools for visually impaired people. In detail, our awarded project focuses on a technology innovation of the operation principle of existing assistive tools for the visually impaired leaving the Human-Machine Interface unchanged. This can result in a significant reduction of the production costs and consequently of tool selling prices, thus representing an important opportunity for social entrepreneurship. The first two assistive tools designed within the Braille Lab project following the proposed approach aims to provide the possibility to personally print documents and handouts and to read texts written in Braille using refreshable Braille display, respectively. The former, named ‘Braille Cartridge’, represents an alternative solution for printing in Braille and consists in the realization of an electronic-controlled dispenser printing (cartridge) which can be integrated within traditional ink-jet printers, in order to leverage the efficiency and cost of the device mechanical structure which are already being used. The latter, named ‘Braille Cursor’, is an innovative Braille display featuring a substantial technology innovation by means of a unique cursor virtualizing Braille cells, thus limiting the number of active pins needed for Braille characters.

Keywords: Human rights, social challenges and technology innovations, visually impaired, affordability, assistive tools

Procedia PDF Downloads 141
5590 Hand Gesture Interpretation Using Sensing Glove Integrated with Machine Learning Algorithms

Authors: Aqsa Ali, Aleem Mushtaq, Attaullah Memon, Monna

Abstract:

In this paper, we present a low cost design for a smart glove that can perform sign language recognition to assist the speech impaired people. Specifically, we have designed and developed an Assistive Hand Gesture Interpreter that recognizes hand movements relevant to the American Sign Language (ASL) and translates them into text for display on a Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid Crystal Display (TFT LCD) screen as well as synthetic speech. Linear Bayes Classifiers and Multilayer Neural Networks have been used to classify 11 feature vectors obtained from the sensors on the glove into one of the 27 ASL alphabets and a predefined gesture for space. Three types of features are used; bending using six bend sensors, orientation in three dimensions using accelerometers and contacts at vital points using contact sensors. To gauge the performance of the presented design, the training database was prepared using five volunteers. The accuracy of the current version on the prepared dataset was found to be up to 99.3% for target user. The solution combines electronics, e-textile technology, sensor technology, embedded system and machine learning techniques to build a low cost wearable glove that is scrupulous, elegant and portable.

Keywords: American sign language, assistive hand gesture interpreter, human-machine interface, machine learning, sensing glove

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5589 Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms Approach for Word Correction and Prediction

Authors: Rodrigo S. Fonseca, Antônio C. P. Veiga

Abstract:

Aiming at helping people with some movement limitation that makes typing and communication difficult, there is a need to customize an assistive tool with a learning environment that helps the user in order to optimize text input, identifying the error and providing the correction and possibilities of choice in the Portuguese language. The work presents an Orthographic and Grammatical System that can be incorporated into writing environments, improving and facilitating the use of an alphanumeric keyboard, using a prototype built using a genetic algorithm in addition to carrying out the prediction, which can occur based on the quantity and position of the inserted letters and even placement in the sentence, ensuring the sequence of ideas using a Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) neural network. The prototype optimizes data entry, being a component of assistive technology for the textual formulation, detecting errors, seeking solutions and informing the user of accurate predictions quickly and effectively through machine learning.

Keywords: genetic algorithm, neural networks, word prediction, machine learning

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5588 Expert Review on Conceptual Design Model of Assistive Courseware for Low Vision (AC4LV) Learners

Authors: Nurulnadwan Aziz, Ariffin Abdul Mutalib, Siti Mahfuzah Sarif

Abstract:

This paper reports an ongoing project regarding the development of Conceptual Design Model of Assistive Courseware for Low Vision (AC4LV) learners. Having developed the intended model, it has to be validated prior to producing it as guidance for the developers to develop an AC4LV. This study requires two phases of validation process which are through expert review and prototyping method. This paper presents a part of the validation process which is findings from experts review on Conceptual Design Model of AC4LV which has been carried out through a questionnaire. Results from 12 international and local experts from various respectable fields in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) were discussed and justified. In a nutshell, reviewed Conceptual Design Model of AC4LV was formed. Future works of this study are to validate the reviewed model through prototyping method prior to testing it to the targeted users.

Keywords: assistive courseware, conceptual design model, expert review, low vision learners

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5587 Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots

Authors: Martin Leroux, Sylvain Brisebois

Abstract:

Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.

Keywords: assistive robotics, automated feeding, elderly care, trajectory design, human-robot interaction

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5586 An Assistive Robotic Arm for Defence and Rescue Application

Authors: J. Harrison Kurunathan, R. Jayaparvathy

Abstract:

"Assistive Robotics" is the field that deals with the study of robots that helps in human motion and also empowers human abilities by interfacing the robotic systems to be manipulated by human motion. The proposed model is a robotic arm that works as a haptic interface on the basis on accelerometers and DC motors that will function with respect to the movement of the human muscle. The proposed model would effectively work as a haptic interface that would reduce human effort in the field of defense and rescue. This can be used in very critical conditions like fire accidents to avoid causalities.

Keywords: accelerometers, haptic interface, servo motors, signal processing

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5585 Teaching Practitioners to Use Technology to Support and Instruct Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Authors: Nicole Nicholson, Anne Spillane

Abstract:

The purpose of this quantitative, descriptive analysis was to determine the success of a post-graduate new teacher education program, designed to teach educators the knowledge and skills necessary to use technology in the classroom, improve the ability to communicate with stakeholders, and implement EBPs and UDL principles into instruction for students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders ). The success of candidates (n=20) in the program provided evidence as to how candidates were effectively able to use technology to create meaningful learning opportunities and implement EBPs for individuals with ASD. ≥90% of participants achieved the following competencies: podcast creation; technology used to share information about assistive technology; and created a resource website on ASD (including information on EBPs, local and national support groups, ASD characteristics, and the latest research on ASD). 59% of students successfully created animation. Results of the analysis indicated that the teacher education program was successful in teaching candidates desired competencies during its first year of implementation.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, ASD, evidence based practices, EBP, universal design for learning, UDL

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5584 Embodied Empowerment: A Design Framework for Augmenting Human Agency in Assistive Technologies

Authors: Melina Kopke, Jelle Van Dijk

Abstract:

Persons with cognitive disabilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are often dependent on some form of professional support. Recent transformations in Dutch healthcare have spurred institutions to apply new, empowering methods and tools to enable their clients to cope (more) independently in daily life. Assistive Technologies (ATs) seem promising as empowering tools. While ATs can, functionally speaking, help people to perform certain activities without human assistance, we hold that, from a design-theoretical perspective, such technologies often fail to empower in a deeper sense. Most technologies serve either to prescribe or to monitor users’ actions, which in some sense objectifies them, rather than strengthening their agency. This paper proposes that theories of embodied interaction could help formulating a design vision in which interactive assistive devices augment, rather than replace, human agency and thereby add to a persons’ empowerment in daily life settings. It aims to close the gap between empowerment theory and the opportunities provided by assistive technologies, by showing how embodiment and empowerment theory can be applied in practice in the design of new, interactive assistive devices. Taking a Research-through-Design approach, we conducted a case study of designing to support independently living people with ASD with structuring daily activities. In three iterations we interlaced design action, active involvement and prototype evaluations with future end-users and healthcare professionals, and theoretical reflection. Our co-design sessions revealed the issue of handling daily activities being multidimensional. Not having the ability to self-manage one’s daily life has immense consequences on one’s self-image, and also has major effects on the relationship with professional caregivers. Over the course of the project relevant theoretical principles of both embodiment and empowerment theory together with user-insights, informed our design decisions. This resulted in a system of wireless light units that users can program as a reminder for tasks, but also to record and reflect on their actions. The iterative process helped to gradually refine and reframe our growing understanding of what it concretely means for a technology to empower a person in daily life. Drawing on the case study insights we propose a set of concrete design principles that together form what we call the embodied empowerment design framework. The framework includes four main principles: Enabling ‘reflection-in-action’; making information ‘publicly available’ in order to enable co-reflection and social coupling; enabling the implementation of shared reflections into an ‘endurable-external feedback loop’ embedded in the persons familiar ’lifeworld’; and nudging situated actions with self-created action-affordances. In essence, the framework aims for the self-development of a suitable routine, or ‘situated practice’, by building on a growing shared insight of what works for the person. The framework, we propose, may serve as a starting point for AT designers to create truly empowering interactive products. In a set of follow-up projects involving the participation of persons with ASD, Intellectual Disabilities, Dementia and Acquired Brain Injury, the framework will be applied, evaluated and further refined.

Keywords: assistive technology, design, embodiment, empowerment

Procedia PDF Downloads 198
5583 Assistive Kitchenware Design for Hemiparetics

Authors: Daniel F. Madrinan-Chiquito

Abstract:

Hemiparesis affects about eight out of ten stroke survivors, causing weakness or the inability to move one side of the body. One-sided weakness can affect arms, hands, legs, or facial muscles. People with one-sided weakness may have trouble performing everyday activities such as eating, cooking, dressing, and using the bathroom. Rehabilitation treatments, exercises at home, and assistive devices can help with mobility and recovery. Historically, such treatments and devices were developed within the fields of medicine and biomedical engineering. However, innovators outside of the traditional medical device community, such as Industrial Designers, have recently brought their knowledge and expertise to assistive technologies. Primary and secondary research was done in three parts. The primary research collected data by talking with several occupational therapists currently attending to stroke patients, and surveys were given to patients with hemiparesis and hemiplegia. The secondary research collected data through observation and testing of products currently marketed for single-handed people. Modern kitchenware available in the market for people with an acquired brain injury has deficiencies in both aesthetic and functional values. Object design for people with hemiparesis or hemiplegia has not been meaningfully explored. Most cookware is designed for use with two hands and possesses little room for adaptation to the needs of one-handed individuals. This project focuses on the design and development of two kitchenware devices. These devices assist hemiparetics with different cooking-related tasks such as holding, grasping, cutting, slicing, chopping, grating, and other essential activities. These intentionally designed objects will improve the quality of life of hemiparetics by enabling greater independence and providing an enhanced ability for precision tasks in a cooking environment.

Keywords: assistive technologies, hemiparetics, industrial design, kitchenware

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5582 Design of Orientation-Free Handler and Fuzzy Controller for Wire-Driven Heavy Object Lifting System

Authors: Bo-Wei Song, Yun-Jung Lee

Abstract:

This paper presents an intention interface and controller for a wire-driven heavy object lifting system that assists the operator with moving a heavy object. The handler is designed to allow a comfortable working posture for the operator. Plus, as a human assistive system, the operator is involved in the control loop, where a fuzzy control system is used to consider the human control characteristics. The effectiveness and performance of the proposed system are proved by experiments.

Keywords: fuzzy controller, handler design, heavy object lifting system, human-assistive device, human-in-the-loop system

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5581 Smart Help at the Workplace for Persons with Disabilities (SHW-PWD)

Authors: Ghassan Kbar, Shady Aly, Ibrahim Alsharawy, Akshay Bhatia, Nur Alhasan, Ronaldo Enriquez

Abstract:

The Smart Help for persons with disability (PWD) is a part of the project SMARTDISABLE which aims to develop relevant solution for PWD that target to provide an adequate workplace environment for them. It would support PWD needs smartly through smart help to allow them access to relevant information and communicate with other effectively and flexibly, and smart editor that assist them in their daily work. It will assist PWD in knowledge processing and creation as well as being able to be productive at the work place. The technical work of the project involves design of a technological scenario for the Ambient Intelligence (AmI) - based assistive technologies at the workplace consisting of an integrated universal smart solution that suits many different impairment conditions and will be designed to empower the Physically disabled persons (PDP) with the capability to access and effectively utilize the ICTs in order to execute knowledge rich working tasks with minimum efforts and with sufficient comfort level. The proposed technology solution for PWD will support voice recognition along with normal keyboard and mouse to control the smart help and smart editor with dynamic auto display interface that satisfies the requirements for different PWD group. In addition, a smart help will provide intelligent intervention based on the behavior of PWD to guide them and warn them about possible misbehavior. PWD can communicate with others using Voice over IP controlled by voice recognition. Moreover, Auto Emergency Help Response would be supported to assist PWD in case of emergency. This proposed technology solution intended to make PWD very effective at the work environment and flexible using voice to conduct their tasks at the work environment. The proposed solution aims to provide favorable outcomes that assist PWD at the work place, with the opportunity to participate in PWD assistive technology innovation market which is still small and rapidly growing as well as upgrading their quality of life to become similar to the normal people at the workplace. Finally, the proposed smart help solution is applicable in all workplace setting, including offices, manufacturing, hospital, etc.

Keywords: ambient intelligence, ICT, persons with disability PWD, smart application, SHW

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5580 Design and Implementation of Remote Control Application for Elderly People Who Live Alone

Authors: Cristina Nieves Perdomo Delgado

Abstract:

The study consists of the design and use of an application for cell phones called “Me Cuido” that consists of remote control of elderly people who live alone with their families. The objective of the study is to analyze the usability of the application by 40-year-olds using the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction (QUIS) method. The results highlight that the application has a design adapted to the elderly and that it is easy to use and understand.

Keywords: design, assistive technology, elderly people, independence

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5579 Robots for the Elderly at Home: For Men Only

Authors: Christa Fricke, Sibylle Meyer, Gert G. Wagner

Abstract:

Our research focuses on the question of whether assistive and social robotics could pose a promising strategy to support the independent living of elderly people and potentially relieve relatives of any anxieties. To answer the question of how elderly people perceive the potential of robotics, we analysed the data from the Berlin Aging Study BASE-II (https://www.base2.mpg.de/de) (N=1463) and data from the German SYMPARTNER study (http://www.sympartner.de) (N=120) and compared those to a control group made up of people younger than 30 years (BASE II: N=241; SYMPARTNER: N=30). BASE-II is a cohort study of people living in Berlin, Germany. The sample covers more than 2200 cases; a questionnaire on the use and acceptance of assistive and social robots was carried out with a sub-sample of 1463 respondents in 2015. The SYMPARTNER study was done by SIBIS institute of Social Research, Berlin and included a total of 120 persons between the ages of 60 and 87 in Berlin and the rural German federal state of Thuringia. Both studies included a control group of persons between the ages of 20 and 35 (BASE II: N=241; SYMPARTNER: N=30). Additional data, representative for the whole population in Germany, will be surveyed in fall 2017 (Survey “Technikradar” [technology radar] by the National Academy of Science and Engineering). Since this survey is including some identical questions as BASE-II/SYMPARTNER, comparative results can be presented at 20th International Conference on Social Robotics in New York 2018. The complexity of the data gathered in BASE-II and SYMPARTNER, encompassing detailed socio-economic background characteristics as well as personality traits such as the personal attitude to risk taking, locus of control and Big Five, proves highly valuable and beneficial. Results show that participants’ expressions of resentment against robots are comparatively low. Participants’ personality traits play a role, however the effect sizes are small. Only 15 percent of participants received domestic robots with great scepticism. Participants aged older than 70 years expressed greatest rejection of the robotic assistant. The effect sizes however account for only a few percentage points. Overall, participants were surprisingly open to the robot and its usefulness. The analysis also shows that men’s acceptance of the robot is generally greater than that of women (with odds ratios of about 0.6 to 0.7). This applies to both assistive robots in the private household and in care environments. Men expect greater benefits of the robot than women. Women tend to be more sceptical of their technical feasibility than men. Interview results prove our hypothesis that men, in particular of the age group 60+, are more accustomed to delegate household chores to women. A delegation to machines instead of humans, therefore, seems palpable. The answer to the title question of this planned presentation is: social and assistive robots at home robots are not only accepted by men – but by fewer women than men.

Keywords: acceptance, care, gender, household

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5578 Emotions Evoked by Robots - Comparison of Older Adults and Students

Authors: Stephanie Lehmann, Esther Ruf, Sabina Misoch

Abstract:

Background: Due to demographic change and shortage of skilled nursing staff, assistive robots are built to support older adults at home and nursing staff in care institutions. When assistive robots facilitate tasks that are usually performed by humans, user acceptance is essential. Even though they are an important aspect of acceptance, emotions towards different assistive robots and different situations of robot-use have so far not been examined in detail. The appearance of assistive robots can trigger emotions that affect their acceptance. Acceptance of robots is assumed to be greater when they look more human-like; however, too much human similarity can be counterproductive. Regarding different groups, it is assumed that older adults have a more negative attitude towards robots than younger adults. Within the framework of a simulated robot study, the aim was to investigate emotions of older adults compared to students towards robots with different appearances and in different situations and so contribute to a deeper view of the emotions influencing acceptance. Methods: In a questionnaire study, vignettes were used to assess emotions toward robots in different situations and of different appearance. The vignettes were composed of two situations (service and care) shown by video and four pictures of robots varying in human similarity (machine-like to android). The combination of the vignettes was randomly distributed to the participants. One hundred forty-two older adults and 35 bachelor students of nursing participated. They filled out a questionnaire that surveyed 30 positive and 30 negative emotions. For each group, older adults and students, a sum score of “positive emotions” and a sum score of “negative emotions” was calculated. Mean value, standard deviation, or n for sample size and % for frequencies, according to the scale level, were calculated. For differences in the scores of positive and negative emotions for different situations, t-tests were calculated. Results: Overall, older adults reported significantly more positive emotions than students towards robots in general. Students reported significantly more negative emotions than older adults. Regarding the two different situations, the results were similar for the care situation, with older adults reporting more positive emotions than students and less negative emotions than students. In the service situation, older adults reported significantly more positive emotions; negative emotions did not differ significantly from the students. Regarding the appearance of the robot, there were no significant differences in emotions reported towards the machine-like, the mechanical-human-like and the human-like appearance. Regarding the android robot, students reported significantly more negative emotions than older adults. Conclusion: There were differences in the emotions reported by older adults compared to students. Older adults reported more positive emotions, and students reported more negative emotions towards robots in different situations and with different appearances. It can be assumed that older adults have a different attitude towards the use of robots than younger people, especially young adults in the health sector. Therefore, the use of robots in the service or care sector should not be rejected rashly based on the attitudes of younger persons, without considering the attitudes of older adults equally.

Keywords: emotions, robots, seniors, young adults

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