Cognitive and physical demands of using ergonomic remote spinner knobs

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University of New Brunswick


The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in physical and cognitive demands between three remote spinner knobs (RSKs) units. Six paraplegic participants drove three different diving trials using three RSKs (Spinner Knob, Claw, Joystick). The participants’ biomechanical and neuromuscular responses were recorded using electromyography (EMG); Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS); pressure mats; galvanic skin receptors (EDA); heart rate (HR) monitor; and questionnaires subjective discomfort data (ratings of perceived discomfort- RPD) and workload NASA TLX for each collection period. The comparison of the 3 RSKs was done using a non-parametric Wilcoxon sign-rank test. To help control for Type 1 error, a Bonferroni correction was performed, setting the alpha level to p< 0.016. The study suggested that the each RSK has their strength and weakness, but the joystick had the most neutral grip and easier layout design (according to participant’s feedback) requiring significantly less neuromuscular activity, less stress while driving and less frustration to the user.