SAM, an Assistive Robotic Device Dedicated to Helping Persons with Quadriplegia: Usability Study
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The purpose of this case study was to evaluate the technology readiness level of a prototype named “SAM” that consists of a robotic arm mounted on a mobile base. Usability and acceptance assessments were performed in patients with high-level quadriplegia. Seventeen patients with quadriplegia were trained to pick up three different objects in three different situations amounting to scenarios 1, 2 and 3. Each scenario was observed over the 5 steps of its execution. For each step, usability and acceptability parameters were measured. The success rate was optimal or acceptable (70–100%) for (step 1) identifying the room where the object was located, (step 2) directing SAM towards the object and (step 5) monitoring the return of SAM and dropping the object. Designating and validating the object (step 3), approaching and grasping the object (step 4) were rarely completed without any mistake. A majority of patients (70.6%) saw the usage of SAM as an interesting perspective for daily tasks (58.8%) as well as in the potential reorganising of the caregivers’ time (47%). This study suggests that the usage of SAM allows patients with quadriplegia to grab objects both within and out of their field of view. Possibilities allowing the act of seizure are increased via a user-friendly interface which is yet to be improved. Its technology readiness level has been estimated 5.
KeywordsRobotics Human machine interface Usability Acceptability Disability Quadriplegia
Activities of daily living
Assistive robotics to maintain individuals in their natural environment
Human machine interface
Physical medicine and rehabilitation
Technology readiness level
Translation Benedicte Clement and Noor Riazul. Prototype development Partners: CEA List, LASMEA, CNRS-LIMSI, VOXLER, ROBOSOFT and APPROCHE.
This study was funded by the French National Research Agency (TecSan Project Technologies for health and autonomy).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The study was approved by the Ethics Committee on April 9th, 2013 (ref # 13 03 04).
All study participants provided written informed consent prior to enrollment.
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