Experimental Evaluation of Wheelchair-Mounted Robotic Arms (HRI)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01652352
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 30, 2012
Last Update Posted : July 30, 2012
U.S. National Science Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of South Florida

Brief Summary:

Researchers from the University of South Florida's Rehabilitation Engineering program are looking for volunteers to participate in a research study for experimental evaluation of wheelchair-mounted robotic arms (WMRAs).

Participants will operate commercially available and developmental WMRAs in a physical test environment. The study will serve to identify desirable design features of WMRAs and input devices so that future production systems may further increase the quality of life of potential users.

The study will also promote both the justification of prescribing WMRAs to enhance quality of life through the proposed standard testing method, and awareness for the emerging assistive robotics industry.

Condition or disease
Spinal Cord Injury Cerebral Palsy Multiple Sclerosis

Detailed Description:

Individuals with injuries or conditions resulting in both upper and lower body disabilities who are power wheelchair-bound are of key interest.

The purpose of this study is to experimentally evaluate up to six wheelchair mounted robotic arms (WMRAs). The goal is to quantitatively compare each device. In order to compare each device, patients will be asked to operate one of up to six wheelchair mounted robotic arms at a time. With each WMRA, patients will be asked to perform a series of up to four activities of daily living. patients will be presented with a survey at the conclusion of each task test. The survey is designed to quantitatively rank each WMRA's performance. The time to complete each task with each arm will also be recorded.

Patients will be asked some questions such as age, occupation, disability and/or physical limitations, and wheelchair use.

Patients will be asked to disclose pertinent medical information to determine their level of mobility. Then the patients and the research team will know whether or not they should be in the study.

If they take part in this study, patients will be asked to use a series of devices to control each of the six WMRAs to complete the following tasks:

  • Open cabinets of varying heights
  • Open drawers of varying heights
  • Operate mock sink fixtures
  • Operate mock light switches
  • Plug into and out of mock electrical outlets
  • Open personnel door
  • Move objects on a table top
  • Move objects on a book shelf
  • Move a cup from a table top to the participant's mouth
  • Perform any of the previous tasks under additional cognitive load * Additional cognitive load may include but is not limited to carrying on a conversation while attempting to perform a given task

Patients will be asked to spend about four hours in this study, which will be completed in one session at the Rehabilitation Robotics and Prosthetics Testbed at the University of South Florida. Break and refreshment time will be available during setup and installation time for each of up to six WMRAs. It is anticipated that twenty people will take part in this study at USF.

Participants who take part in this study may find quality of life benefits as a result of becoming familiar with WMRA assistive devices. Participants may find using a WMRA helpful in performing activities of daily living, though participants will not be given any of the WMRAs for personal use. The research study is directed at comparing and contrasting commercially available and developmental WMRAs. The study will also help to increase awareness of WMRAs and possibly help develop an assistive manipulator industry in the United States.

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Observational Model: Case Control
Official Title: HRI: Maximizing Manipulation of Persons With Disabilities Using a Smart Wheelchair-Mounted Robotic System
Study Start Date : August 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Individuals with Disability
Power wheelchair-bound individuals with conditions which affect upper and lower body mobility, strength, or dexterity. Such conditions may include but are not limited to spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, or other conditions which affect overall mobility.
Able-Bodied Individuals
Those who possess no condition or injury resulting in loss of mobility.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Efficacy - Ease of Use [ Time Frame: Efficacy in performing a given task with a given wheelchair- mounted robotic arm will be recorded after three (3) repetitions of the task have been completed. Testing should take no longer than 4 hours. ]
    In order to quantitatively evaluate the efficacy of each of up to six WMRAs, a survey will be presented to the participant at the conclusion of the final testing trial of each task of interest. The participant will be asked to rate the ease of performing the given task with the given WMRA and input device on a number ranking scale. The survey should be completed at the conclusion of testing trials for each task (the participant will be asked to perform up to four individual tasks).

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Time of Completion [ Time Frame: Time of completion will be recorded after each testing trial. Testing should take no longer than 4 hours. ]
    The participant will be asked to perform a given task three (3) times. These will be testing trials where time of performance will be recorded. The time of performance will begin when the participant initializes the task. The time of performance will stop when the task has been completed. At the end of each testing trial, the task must be reset

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Candidates will be recruited from University of South Florida facilities and through channels of normal operation of the Center for Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotic Technologies laboratory, its group members, and students.

Included candidate sources are primary and specialist care facilities in the Tampa Bay area, affiliates of USF, CARRT, and the College of Engineering, contacts of said organizations, and the general community.


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 60
  • Have an injury or condition resulting in power wheelchair dependence
  • Consent to disclose pertinent medical information for purposes of determining level of mobility
  • Possess physical dexterity and capacity to operate the following devices:

    • 16 button numeric keypad - dimensions: 3inch by 3inch square
    • Touch screen tablet PC - dimensions: 15inch (diagonal)
    • SpaceNavigator 3D joystick - movements: push, pull, lift, press, twist
    • Standard joystick - movements: push, pull
    • Chin joystick - movements: push, pull
  • Possess capacity to understand the objective of each task, including but not limited to turning on a light switch, opening a cabinet, moving a cup from a table top to the participant's mouth, and opening a door
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand, or become familiar with the basic function of both the input device and WMRA
  • Spend up to four (4) hours, at one time, in the laboratory located at:

Rehabilitation Robotics and Prosthetics Testbed (RRT) 13335 Laurel Drive Tampa, FL 33620

  • Consent to having a test platform temporarily attached to the participant's wheelchair. The attachment will use soft nylon straps and in no way inflict damage to the participant's property
  • Sign an informed consent form

Exclusion Criteria:

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01652352

United States, Florida
Rehabilitation Robotics and Prosthetics Testbed
Tampa, Florida, United States, 33620
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of South Florida
U.S. National Science Foundation
Principal Investigator: Rajiv Dubey, Ph.D. Major Professor

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: University of South Florida Identifier: NCT01652352     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 105880
0713560 ( Other Grant/Funding Number: National Science Foundation )
First Posted: July 30, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: July 30, 2012
Last Verified: July 2012

Keywords provided by University of South Florida:
Power wheelchair
Wheelchair mounted robotic arm
Assistive robot
Assistive robotics
Rehabilitation robot
Rehabilitation engineering
Rehabilitation robotics

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Multiple Sclerosis
Spinal Cord Injuries
Cerebral Palsy
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Nervous System Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Spinal Cord Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Trauma, Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries
Brain Damage, Chronic
Brain Diseases