User Disabilities

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This page is intended to be a way of sharing and discussing information on disabilities pertinent to the users of assistive robots. Some of the medical terminology and approaches used may be unfamiliar to us engineers, but hopefully we can here also include input from various experts in the field.

The page is loosely organized by the types of sources (journal paper/webpage/book etc), though this is up for discussion. The only hard requirement is that each source has a brief explanation of what useful information the source contains and how to get a hold of it. En ingles o espanol :)


Principals of Neural Science – an introductory overview of neuroscience that even we engineers can follow some of! Has a good section on the effect of partial and complete transections of the spinal chord that is of interest to us (have a copy from 2000 if anyone is interested - martin). Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J.H. and Jessell, T.M. (2000) Principles of Neural Science. 4th edition, McGraw-Hill.

Journal papers

Measurement of human muscle fatigue – goes over most commonly used ways of measuring muscle fatigue. Is of interest because excessive fatigue may accompany some disabilities and we may want to compensate for it in our interfaces. Voellestad, N.K. (1997) Measurement of human muscle fatigue. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Vol. 74, pp. 219-227.

Defining brain-machine interface applications by matching interface performance with device requirements – Though mainly focused on BCI’s the paper is of interest because it attempts to compare different interface modalities, including other HMI’s, using quantitative measures like the maximum possible information rate (bits/sec) and the latency. Tonet, O., Marinelli, M., Citi, L., Rossini, P.M., Rossini, L., Megali, G. and Dario, P. (2008) Defining brain-machine interface applications by matching interface performance with device requirements. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Vol. 167, pp. 91-104.


International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) – a World Health Organization (WHO) page that has information and complete surveys for performing classification of disabilities of a user, by clinician or user him/her self.


BCI 2009 Master Course materials (from Javier Minguez):

     Session 1:
     · Read paper (intro to BCIs) dissemination level: link
     · Read paper  (intro to BCIs) technical: link
     · Show video recorded B. Allison speech to Microsoft (open with explorer): link
     Session 2:
     · Read  dissemination level paper: link
     · Show video record: C. Shenoy  speech  at  Stanford: link
     Session 3:
     · Visualizar la charla de Kurzweil: link
     El resto de las sesiones tienen ya trabajos en Matlab, etc.
     Documentación de papers que se han comentado en el curso:
     · Paper de anticipación de movimiento:  link
     · Paper de reconstrucción 3D de la trayectoria de la mano: link
     · Paper de intentional stopping (similar): link
     · Paper de la silla de ruedas Zaragoza: link
     Otros enlaces de interes:
     · Programming Reference:BCI2000 Source Code: link
     · User Reference:gUSBampADC: link
     · Category:Framework API: From BCI2000 Wiki: link