Usability Testing Of A Developed Assistive Robotic System WithVirtual Assistance For Individuals With Cerebral Palsy A Case Study
This paper presents a novel application of an assistive robotic system with virtual assistance to enhance manual performance of individuals with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy affects one’s voluntary motor movements resulting in limited opportunities to actively engage in physical manipulative activities that require fine motor movements and coordination. Lack of object manipulation and environmental exploration can result in further impairments such as cognitive and social delays. The proposed assistive robotic system has been developed to enhance hand movements of people with disabilities when performing a functional task- colouring. This paper presents the usability testing of the effectiveness of the developed system with an individual with cerebral palsy in a set of colouring tasks. Assisted and unassisted approaches were compared and analysed through quantitative and qualitative measures. The robotic-based approach was further compared with the participant’s typical alternate access method to perform the same proposed tasks. The robotic system with virtual assistance was clinically validated to be significantly more effective, compared to both unassisted and typical approaches, by increasing the hand controllability, reducing the physical load and increasing the easiness of maintaining movements within the lines. Future studies will inform the use of the system for children with disabilities to provide them with assisted play for functional and playful activities.