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.