Needs and Usability Assessment of a New User Interface for Lower Extremity Medical Exoskeleton Robots
This paper presents an evaluation and recommendations for the improvement of the user interface (UI) of medical exoskeleton robots for people with mobility disorders. Existing UIs of currently available medical exoskeletons lack the flexibility to serve a diverse user group who require more customization. A UI prototype consisting of a glove with buttons attached on fingertips, and a display module for user feedback and/or instruction was developed and evaluated. For the evaluation of this UI prototype, multiple usability tests, guerrilla tests, interviews, and surveys were conducted with several crutch and manual wheelchair users. Finally, a set of final Glove UI design recommendations is illustrated based on the test subjects and interviewees’ feedback; finger glove, two buttons, singleton walking method, and adjustable display position. A more thorough evaluation on this improved UI with more potential users of medical exoskeletons with various physical abilities remains as future work.