Identifying Design Opportunity Spaces in New User Interfaces for Exoskeleton Mobility Devices

Euiyoung Kim, Yoon Jung Jeong, Kathryn Mock, Victoria Stanton Kocsik and Alice M. Agogino (International Design Conference 2014)


Although there are many academic researchers and practitioners who have been developing exoskeleton robots for different applications, the user interface design on these devices has not yet been sufficiently explored. The user interface of the exoskeleton device is one of the most crucial media between the user and the machine, where the two interact through either explicit or implicit control. This paper identifies design opportunity spaces in user interface (UI) design ideas for exoskeleton devices based on a human-centered design process. First, we define different types of users ranging from patients with extreme mobility disorders to soldiers with full mobility, and users pursuing different types of strength augmentations. We introduce four characteristic personas and opportunity spaces in a 2 x 2 matrix of the most critical needs. We also provide a mapping of the primary user needs to new user interface concepts. Finally, we present some of the top concepts for new user interfaces as examples for future concept development.