Robotic Prototypes for Physical Independence
The objective of this user study is to explore perspectives of potential users of robotic aids for people with disabilities to better understand how a robotic device could increase their physical independence for daily living. Specifically, we are interested in developing robotic prototypes for repositioning, transferring, and personal care.
Consent (The participant must be 18 years or older)
Many people with disabilities require help from caregivers for physical tasks such as repositioning, transferring, and personal care. Robotic aids hold the promise of performing some of the same assistive tasks and increasing independence of persons with disabilities. The goal of this study is to explore the need for such aids and to evaluate the perceived pros and cons of prototypes we have designed and built-in simulation. We are targeting for 50 - 100 participants or more. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. If you choose to participate, you will continue with this online survey. It asks some demographic questions, and then moves through a series of videos of the prototypes and asks for your thoughts about them. The survey should take about 30 minutes. If you wish to end the survey you may do so at any time by simply closing the web browser window. If you grow tired while taking the survey, you can come back and complete the survey at a later time. No record will be made of either your responses or that you even initiated the survey. No identifying information about you is recorded unless you choose to provide an email address to stay informed about the results that follow from this survey. If you do provide an email address, it will in no way be connected to your responses. Please contact the Principal Investigator, Kavita Krishnaswamy, at kavi1@umbc.edu, if you have any additional questions. This study has been reviewed and approved by the UMBC Institutional Review Board (IRB). A representative of that Board, from the Office for Research Protections and Compliance, is available to discuss the review process or my rights as a research participant. Contact information of the Office is (410) 455-2737 or compliance@umbc.edu. By continuing with this survey and submitting responses, you are consenting to the use of your data for the purposes of the study as outlined above.
Demographics
You are:
What is your age?
What is the highest level of education you completed?
Which category best describes who you are?
What is the primary disability that limits your or your loved one's ability for independent daily living?
In general, please describe.
Your answer
What current modes of input do you or your loved use to control your computer or other devices?
(You may check more than one.)
Required
Repositioning
Have you or your loved one ever been in a situation that no one was nearby to help for repositioning when needed?
How often is repositioning of the arms or legs or body posture change required for you or your loved one?
Please explain how the repositioning process is performed on the arms and legs and body.
Is the physical assistance of a caregiver required? Is an equipment or assistive device used? If so, what device? Are there any challenges? If so, please explain.
Your answer
Piano Mattress
Video Prototype 1 (Click play to view video): An inflatable contoured mattress with a number of segment chambers that are filled with air pockets that can be pressurized to be raised or lowered to the height that best suits the positioning needs of the user.
Would you or your loved one use the Piano Mattress for pressure relief and repositioning?
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Piano Mattress shown in the video above for repositioning?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
How else can a robotic device assist with repositioning? What are your ideas? How will you control it?
Your answer
Transferring
Have you or your loved one ever been in a situation where no one was nearby to help for transferring when needed?
What is your or your loved one's current or preferred way of transferring in and out from the wheelchair to bed? Is an equipment or assistive device used? If so, what device? Are there any challenges? Please explain.
Your answer
Wearable Sling
Video Prototype 2(Click play to view video): A robotic aid for transferring. To hold the sling, there will be two hooks for the head and trunk slings and a single hook for each forearm, upper arm, upper leg, and lower leg on both the right to left sides to total 12 hooks on the equipment.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Wearable Sling shown in the video above for transferring?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
Piano Lifter
Video Prototype 3(Click play to view video): For limb repositioning and transferring, one or more tines can move and curl around the body part and execute the required movement and even perform scooping up with two or more tines interleaved on the limbs, trunk, and head. Each of the two grippers has three fingers and will be used to support the head and fine movement of the limbs.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Piano Lifter shown in the video above for transferring?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
Penta-Gripper
Video Prototype 4(Click play to view video): For transferring, the five grippers are used to grasp under the thighs, arms, and the head. Each of the five grippers has two fingers and will be used to support the head and fine movement of the limbs.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Penta-Gripper shown in the video above for transferring?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
Which best describes how you feel about using the the Wearable Sling, Piano Lifter, and Penta-Gripper Prototype in the future for transferring?
Very positive
Somewhat positive
Somewhat negative
Very negative
Wearable Sling 
Piano Lifter
Penta-Gripper
How else can a robotic device assist with transferring? What are your ideas? How will you control it?
Your answer
Personal Care
Which of the following tasks will you consider a robotic device helping?
Required
Motorized Commode Chair
Video Prototype 5(Click play to view video): Motorized Commode Chair with the capacity to adjust the seat's elevation and tilt, backrest recline, lock the brakes on the wheels, and position of head support, armrests, and footrests with a remote control or mounted joystick.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Motorized Commode Chair shown in the video above for toileting?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
Toilet Tongs
Video Prototype 6(Click play to view video): A device that resembles motorized tongs with a small faucet in the center that functions as a bidet.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Toilet Tongs shown in the video above for toileting?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
UniGripper
Video Prototype 7(Click play to view video): Universal Gripper (UniGripper) is for feeding, wiping the mouth with a napkin, combing hair, and fine motor activities.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the UniGripper shown in the video above for feeding?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
Robotic Toothbrush
Video Prototype 8(Click play to view video): Robotic Toothbrush system with a small-headed toothbrush, a pulsating water jet, and a container for spitting out secretions.
What do you see as the pros and cons of the Robotic Toothbrush shown in the video above for brushing teeth?
How do you think the design could be improved?
Your answer
Which best describes how you feel about using the the Motorized Commode Chair, Toilet Tongs, UniGripper, and Robotic Toothbrush Prototype in the future for personal care?
Very positive
Somewhat positive
Somewhat negative
Very negative
Motorized Commode Chair
Toilet Tongs
UniGripper
Robotic Toothbrush
How else can a robotic device assist with personal care? What are your ideas? How will you control it?
Your answer
Wrap-up
Do you have any other thoughts or opinions regarding the topics discussed in the survey?
Your answer
Please provide an email address if you are interested in receiving information about scientific publications and/or developments of physical prototypes based in part of the results of this survey
Your answer
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