Jump to content

  • Forum Rules

Welcome to the Apparelyzed Spinal Cord Injury and Cauda Equina Syndrome Support Forum

Sign In  Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter

Create Account
Welcome to Apparelyzed, an active and vibrant spinal cord injury and cauda equina syndrome support forum. Like most online communities you must register to view or post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process that requires minimal information for you to signup. Be apart of our spinal cord injury support community by signing in or creating an account.
  • Start new topics and reply to others
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get email updates
  • Get your own profile page and make new friends
  • Send personal messages to other members.
  • Talk to others in real time in the Chat Room
Don't forget to follow the latest spinal cord injury news articles on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Posted Image Posted Image

We look forward to welcoming you to our community and reading your contributions and questions.
Forum Administrator.


Patients Find Robotic Arm Technology Is Too Easy

  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Apparelyzed


    Admin/Moderator/That Guy!

  • Admin
  • 5,380 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Country:UK
  • Spinal Injury Level:C5/6 Anterior Cord
  • Injury Date:02-01-1992

Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:42 AM

Patients find robotic arm technology is too easy

Aman Behal, an Assistant Professor at UCF, and his research team have created a robotic arm that assists patients with severe spinal cord injuries, but have found that participants find the technology to be too easy.

According to Behal, the arm took about two years to complete and is designed to attach to the side of a wheelchair. It is connected to various sensors that are able to make the robot see, as well as sense motion.

The robotic arm operates in two modes, by either clicking or touching an object from a computer screen, or manually typing in commands for the robot to perform.

There are various ways to access the robot, by touch, voice command or even by tracking head motions.

Rebekah Hazlett, who is currently completing the final year of her Ph.D. in the Public Affairs program at UCF, first conducted focus group meetings with spinal cord injury patients in order to understand the ways in which an individual with traumatic spinal cord injury learned and adapted to new technology such as the robotic arm.

"My desire to empower consumers of both social services and assistive technology to have a voice in their own services really fueled my interest in this project," Hazlett said.

Using the information collected from the focus groups, researchers then went on to conduct a pilot study to test the robot's effectiveness in daily activities.

Ten participants from the Orlando Health Rehabilitation Institute participated in the robotic arm's study for about a month. During that time the participants performed various activities, such as grabbing a cereal box, toothpaste and a remote, that are considered to be basic, everyday tasks.

Objects used in the study varied in sizes, such as curved or flat; positions, such as upright versus down; and heights, in order to compare how well the robot and participants responded to each task.

Although tasks were performed quicker by clicking or touching an object on a computer screen, participants mainly preferred manually typing in commands.

"Participants were frustrated in just sitting back and watching the arm do all the work," Behal said.

Behal went on to explain that participants didn't want to fully rely on the robot, but wanted to use their maximum potential. "We need to offer a spectrum to patients where the robot doesn't take over the whole task, but also can provide the help where it is needed."

The main concern for the robotic arm now is the psychological relationship between humans and the robot and making the arm more interactive with participants.

That is where researchers like Melissa Smith, a senior at UCF and majoring in psychology, come in.

"They needed a person not from the mechanical or electrical point of view, but a person focusing on the user access aspect," Smith said.

Smith has been a part of the research team for about a year and a half and works on the human factors analysis of the robot, which requires her to consider multiple ways in making the arm more user-friendly and to optimize its usage.

Currently the team is writing a paper regarding the results on how the robot preformed to submit to the International Conference on Intelligent User Interface, IUI, which is a forum for reporting research and development on intelligent user interfaces.

follow_me-a.jpg facebook-2.jpg

Follow the Apparelyzed Forum on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

#2 edlee


    Super Advanced

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6,171 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Country:South Western Pa
  • Spinal Injury Level:t-10 complete
  • Injury Date:11-18-2004

Posted 11 October 2010 - 08:41 PM

This is the kind of result one sees when an engineer has a solution,,, and is in search of the right problem to use it on. On the other hand,, the early personal computers were much the same,, and look where that's taken us.


Edited by edlee, 11 October 2010 - 08:42 PM.

#3 Tetracyclone


    Cereal Poster!

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,557 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Country:Southern California
  • Spinal Injury Level:C 5-7 incomplete
  • Injury Date:27-05-2008

Posted 11 October 2010 - 10:46 PM

If a person can type why is s/he using a robotic arm?

Help me understand.

#4 HiltonP


    Intermediate Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 784 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Country:South Africa
  • Spinal Injury Level:MD

Posted 12 October 2010 - 08:41 AM

Patients find robotic arm technology is too easy
"Participants were frustrated in just sitting back and watching the arm do all the work," Behal said.

I find this hard to believe, and have to wonder what type of "participants" were being used (fellow engineers, bored teenagers?).
Personally, as someone with very limited arm and hand use, I'd give my left nut to have a robotic arm!
Far from being frustrated by it, you'd not be able to get the smile off my face! :)

Spinal Cord Injury & Cauda Equina Syndrome Support

This website is a way for those with spinal cord injuries and cauda equina syndrome to share experiences and advice. Any medical matters, treatments or alternative therapies discussed on this website should be thoroughly reviewed by a medical professional or therapist before being acted upon. Under no circumstances should you alter prescribed medication or a medical care plan without consulting your doctor or care plan supervisor first.