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The control interface is one of the most critical components of the electric-powered wheelchair (EPW). The control interface must accommodate the user's limitations and maximize the user's abilities. This study extended Fitts' Law for target-acquisition to a continuously updated target. The extended Fitts' Law was used to examine EPW driving with a standard position sensing joystick and a prototype isometric joystick (IJ). The extended Fitts' Law provides insight into the difficulty of performing target-acquisition tasks with an EPW. The test results showed significant differences (p<0.05) among the two types of joysticks for selected measures of information processing capacity, movement time, root-mean-square-error, and average velocity while performing turning maneuvers. The mean values indicate that the IJ may provide superior turning performance.
Date of Publication: July 2000