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Devices for assisting manipulation: a summary of user task priorities

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4 Author(s)
Stanger, C.A. ; Appl. Sci. & Eng. Lab., Delaware Univ., Newark, DE, USA ; Anglin, C. ; Harwin, W.S. ; Romilly, D.P.

Currently, none of the commercially available rehabilitation robots are widely distributed among individuals with limited use of their arms and hands. Market success requires design that achieves an acceptable tradeoff between function, appearance, ease of use, reliability, and cost. User defined task priorities are an imperative consideration within the design as devices which fail a user's functionality requirement will never succeed in the market place. Consequently, this article reviews nine different task priority surveys conducted by seven institutions across England and North America which reflect the views of over 200 potential users of such technology. They include predevelopment questionnaires that focus on user task ability and anticipated use of an orthosis or rehabilitation robot, and postdevelopment surveys that investigate task functionality with a specific robot. The survey results indicate that a device must accommodate a wide range of object manipulation tasks in a variety of unstructured environments. Specific tasks which rated highly were picking things up from the floor or off a shelf and tasks associated with eating, personal hygiene, and leisure activities. The range of functional tasks implies that interdisciplinary design teams are required for “successful” rehabilitation robotic and orthotic device design

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Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )