Assistive technology: A new approach to evaluation

Michela Aguilano, Claudia Salatino, Maria Chiara Carrozza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This article presents a novel approach to validate Assistive Technology Devices (ATDs). In order to avoid discontinuance and, to provide feedback on design criteria, it is fundamental to evaluate the performance of these systems and to obtain indications on users acceptability. An assessment protocol addressed a set of elements related to usability, utility, aesthetics, impact on daily habits, obtrusiveness, safety, portability and comfort. Furthermore the protocol aims at determining objective and quantitative parameters that represent information directly traceable by means of numerical values. An overall acceptability level can be obtained by those parameters that make possible a simple and effective quantitative analysis and trade off among different devices designed to fulfill the same functionality. The proposed approach have been tested to evaluate two systems, named SelFeed and Dedalo, developed at the ARTS Lab of Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa to assist disabled people in feeding. It turned out that the evaluation methodology was useful to point out the weaknesses of the systems, thus leading in a natural way to a controlled iterative design cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2007 IEEE 10th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR'07
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 IEEE 10th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR'07 - Noordwijk, Netherlands
Duration: Jun 12 2007Jun 15 2007


Other2007 IEEE 10th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR'07

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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