Evidence Based Data for the Design of Rotary Control Elements for Fine Motor Adjustment Tasks with Respect to the Elderly User

  • Peter SchmidEmail author
  • Benedikt Janny
  • Thomas Maier
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 826)


With increasing age, the loss of sensorimotor skills plays an important role regarding human-machine interaction. With diminishing eyesight, it becomes increasingly difficult to operate an interface. Referring to this, presenting information via the haptic channel in critical situations can relieve the elderly user. Therefore two experimental studies were conducted. In both experimental studies the subjects had to perform a simple adjustment task with a rotary control element in the context of driving. In the first study optimal locking angle and operation torque values were detected. In the second study, elderly users had to perform adjustment tasks using control elements with varying torque curves. The purpose of this study was to identify which coding feature is suitable for marking a preferred value on a scale or for a menu change. Based on the first study, optimal locking angle and operation torque values are presented. The second study shows that elderly users prefer significant coding features to choose a preferred value or to perform a change. The combination of a rotation angle magnification and an increase in torque also leads to a better task performance. For the indication of a menu change elderly users prefer the combination of rotation angle magnification and torque increase.


Haptics Adaptive human-machine interface Rotary control element Fine motor adjustment tasks Design for the elderly 



This work is founded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the scope of the research project “Personalization options for hand-operated interfaces for the transgenerational user”, grant MA 4210/6-1.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Engineering Design and Industrial Design (IKTD), Department of Industrial Design EngineeringUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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