Evaluating the Usability of an Automated Transport and Retrieval System
Start date: 11 February 2015
The Automated Transport and Retrieval System (ATRS) is a technically advanced system that enables a powered wheelchair (powerchair) to autonomously dock onto a platform lift of a vehicle using an automated tailgate and a motorised driver’s seat. The proposed prototype, SmartATRS, is an example of pervasive computing that considerably improves the usability of ATRS. Two contributions have been made to ATRS: an improved System Architecture incorporating a relay board with an embedded web server that interfaces with the smartphone and ATRS, and an evaluation of the usability of SmartATRS using the System Usability Scale (SUS) and NASA Task Load Index (NASA TLX). The contributions address weaknesses in the usability of ATRS where small wireless keyfobs are used to control the lift, tailgate and seat. The proposed SmartATRS contains large informative buttons, increased safety features, a choice of interaction methods and easy configuration. This research is the first stage towards a “SmartPowerchair”, where pervasive computing technologies would be integrated into the powerchair to help further improve the lifestyle of disabled users.