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Exploring user requirements for a lower body soft exoskeleton to assist mobility

Exploring user requirements for a lower body soft exoskeleton to assist mobility

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Understanding the requirements of potential users is crucial to the successful design of wearable exoskeleton systems. Considering user requirements throughout the design process optimises the likelihood of user uptake and facilitates adherence to the use of wearable systems. This chapter describes the application of a user-centred design approach to the development of a soft lower body assistive exoskeleton for individuals with mild to moderate mobility impairment. Examples of the identification and characterisation of user groups, the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore user requirements, and the implications of user requirements for soft exoskeleton technologies are presented.

Chapter Contents:

  • Abstract
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 User-centred design
  • 4.3 XoSoft: a soft lower body exoskeleton to assist mobility
  • 4.4 Identifying users of a soft exoskeleton to assist mobility
  • 4.4.1 Primary users
  • Stroke
  • Incomplete SCI
  • Older adults
  • 4.4.2 Secondary users
  • 4.4.3 Tertiary users
  • 4.5 A mixed methods study to explore users' design requirements
  • 4.5.1 Methods
  • Participants
  • Primary user assessment and interview
  • Secondary user interview
  • Data analysis
  • 4.5.2 Results
  • Existing needs for and experiences of assistive devices
  • Design requirements for wearable assistive devices for mobility
  • User perspectives on a soft assistive exoskeleton concept
  • 4.6 User needs: implications for soft exoskeleton design
  • 4.6.1 Functional requirements
  • 4.6.2 Design and aesthetics
  • 4.6.3 Willingness to use the concept
  • 4.6.4 Alternative assistive devices
  • 4.6.5 Current challenges for soft exoskeleton technologies
  • 4.7 Chapter summary
  • References

Inspec keywords: biomechanics; user centred design; medical robotics; handicapped aids

Other keywords: successful design; soft lower body assistive exoskeleton; potential users; user groups; soft exoskeleton technologies; user requirements; lower body soft exoskeleton; user uptake; user-centred design approach; facilitates adherence; wearable exoskeleton systems

Subjects: User interfaces; Biophysics of neurophysiological processes; Expert systems and other AI software and techniques; Aids for the handicapped; Physics of body movements; Robotics; Biology and medical computing

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