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Vol. 37 No. 6, November/December 2000

User involvement in the design and evaluation of a smart mobility aid

Gerard Lacey, BAI, MA, PhD and Shane MacNamara, BA

Trinity College, Department of Computer Science, Dublin 2, Ireland; Vartry Research Ltd., Wicklow Enterprise Park, Wicklow Town, Ireland

Abstract — This paper describes the design and evaluation of an innovative smart mobility aid for the frail visually impaired. The Personal Adaptive Mobility AID (PAM-AID) was developed to address the difficulties in personal mobility of the frail and elderly visually impaired. The paper provides an overview of the PAM-AID research at Trinity College and describes the evolutionary nature of the design process. Because there were no existing systems to guide its development, a series of prototypes was constructed and they were regularly evaluated in the field. This approach views potential users as vital contributing members of the design team and led to rapid and hopefully useful improvements in the design.

Key words: elderly, mobility aid, robot mobility aids, visual impairment

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