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Individual differences and their impact on the safety and the efficiency of human-wheelchair systems

Jipp, Meike (2012) Individual differences and their impact on the safety and the efficiency of human-wheelchair systems. Human Factors, 54 (6), pp. 1075-1087. SAGE Publications. doi: 10.1177/0018720812443826. ISSN 0018-7208.

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Objective: The extent to which individual differences in fine motor abilities impact indoor safety and efficiency of human-wheelchair systems was examined. Background: To reduce the currently large number of indoor wheelchair accidents, assistance systems with a high level of automation were developed. It was proposed to adapt the wheelchair’s level of automation to the user’s ability to steer the device to avoid drawbacks of highly automated wheelchairs. The state of the art, however, lacks an empirical identification of those abilities. Method: A study with 23 participants is described. The participants drove through various sections of a course with a powered wheelchair. Repeatedly measured criteria were safety (numbers of collisions) and efficiency (times required for reaching goals). As covariates, the participants’ fine motor abilities were assessed. Results: A random coefficient modelling approach was conducted to analyse the data, which were available on two levels as course sections were nested within participants. The participants’ aiming, precision, and arm-hand speed contributed significantly to both criteria: Participants with lower fine motor abilities had more collisions and required more time for reaching goals. Conclusion: Adapting the wheelchair’s level of automation to these fine motor abilities can improve indoor safety and efficiency. In addition, the results highlight the need to further examine the impact of individual differences on the design of automation features for powered wheelchairs as well as other applications of automation. Application: The results facilitate the improvement of current wheelchair technology.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/75201/
Document Type:Article
Title:Individual differences and their impact on the safety and the efficiency of human-wheelchair systems
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Journal or Publication Title:Human Factors
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 1075-1087
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Keywords:level of automation, human-machine interaction, fine motor abilities, assistance systems, multilevel regression model, random coefficient modelling
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:ATM and Operation (old)
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Human Factors and Safety in Aeronautics (old)
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Guidance > Systemergonomy
Deposited By: Jipp, Meike
Deposited On:22 Jun 2012 10:35
Last Modified:20 Nov 2023 15:24

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