Sensory feedback mechanism for virtual build methodology

H. Onan Demirel, Purdue University


This thesis work has two areas of focus, product design and design research/methodology. The objectives of this study is to design a new code cart and to develop a new design methodology. (a) Design Research/Methodology; A haptic feedback mechanism was integrated into Virtual Build design process to evaluate whether this integration provides similar ergonomics results to physical mockup methods. (b) Product Design; A new (prototype) code cart was built and evaluated whether it is better than the existing code cart model in terms of ergonomics. Although it seems that the study had two separate areas of focus, the design methodology proposed in this study was used as a testbed to evaluate the proposed prototype cart design. The Virtual Build Methodology (VBM) introduced in this study integrates motion capture, virtual reality, computer-aided ergonomics analysis and sensory feedback mechanism for product design and evaluation. In order to assess and to validate the VBM, prototype code cart was built and tested in a push/pull experiment. In this experiment, two different product models (a market available code cart and a prototype code cart model) were evaluated for ergonomic adequacy. Physical readings collected from MOCKUP setup was compared with the results gathered from VBM. In addition to the objective measurements collected in above experiment, a short questionnaire was distributed to each subject. The purpose of the questionnaire was to gain subjects' preferences (subjective measures) about which cart model they prefer in three different design categories; maneuverability, accessibility and ergonomics. The results showed that VBM with sensory feedback mechanism was able to detect ergonomics differences (improvements) between cart models and replicate the physical test conditions in virtual environment with sufficient fidelity and hihg test-retest reliability. L4/L5 compression force values calculated showed that prototype cart generated distinctively low compression forces on L4/L5 spinal section when compared to current cart model in push/pull experiment. Especially, as the external loading applied on cart model increases, the compression force readings of current cart model were much higher than the readings of the prototype cart. Also, subjective ratings collected from questionnaire comply with the above objective findings. It was found that subjects prefer prototype cart than current cart model. The prototype code cart had higher mean rating than current code cart in all design categories.




Duffy, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Biomedical engineering|Industrial engineering|Mechanical engineering

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