Product Dev with NASA @ UC Berkeley, Final Report

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Spring 2013: I was a member of a New Product Development team partnering with the NASA Ames Research center to apply cutting-edge robotics technology for eldercare in the home. Go space or go home.

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Product Dev with NASA @ UC Berkeley, Final Report

  1. 1. Seth McFarland, Stanley Liu, Andrew Kim John Wilcox, Josh Stroud
  2. 2. Mission Statement Increase elderly patients’  mobility  using  robotic  partners. Abstract This project studies the potential uses of next-generation cooperative robots in home healthcare with an emphasis on the elderly market. We partnered with the NASA Ames Research Center, Berkeley Institute of Design, and Ashby Village (AV), a senior village community, to explore this space. Needs identified by interviews are addressed in two prototypes. We introduce the Tensegrity Chair Lift, a product which targets a common problem for senior citizens. We discuss the business case and social, economic, and environmental concerns for the proposed product. Customer and User Needs USER AND EXPERT INTERVIEWS (APPENDIX A) User interviews included Chris Fin, a 42-year old quadriplegic; Joan, a 73-year old with Stage-4 cancer at Ashby Village; Audrey, a UC Berkeley student with a specific strain of anemia; Kie, a quadriplegic UC Berkeley student; and Shirley, a widow living at home. We focused on identifying their specific needs and issues in the medical products they currently used. Expert interviews  gave  us  the  market  stakeholders’  perspective  on  current  products  and  needs   that need to be fulfilled in the current market. These interviews included an architect, an interior designer, and a volunteer from the Ashby Village senior community. We worked closely with the staff at AV to interview members of their network of seniors and volunteers. We also bounced ideas off our mentor in the Berkeley Institute of Design, and visited the NASA Ames Research Center to learn more about the Tensegrity robotics technology. Finally, we interviewed other stakeholders, including a doctor, the director of the Disabled Students Program at Cal, and several staff at a medical supply store. ANALYSIS: OBSERVATIONS, INSIGHT, AND FEEDBACK The team put together an initial draft of our user needs, gathered from 12 interviews with both senior citizens, people with disabilities, and experts in design and architecture. Upon feedback from a Stanford professor, however, we realized that our needs were too broad. We decided instead to focus on two specific needs and a specific user group, the elderly, in our prototyping process. From analysis of our interviews, we ultimately chose Independence and Social Connection as the most important needs. Both needs showed up again and again in both interviews and market research of elderly users. We ultimately chose Independence as our top need. Mobility and Social Connection were delegated to primary needs, one level down in our hierarchy. For a more in depth analysis and hierarchy of user, refer to Appendix B. We made these decisions late in the semester, so our more broad 5 needs guided us through the concept generation and selection phases. Concept Generation (Appendix C) We used an iterative design process to generate concepts which addressed our user needs through two rounds of ideation and refinement. Each cycle consisted of an initial brainstorm, concept voting, concept consolidation, and user feedback. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION The team split potential users of Tensegrity applications to home healthcare two user groups: people with physical disabilities and elderly citizens. Both of these user groups wanted more
  3. 3. independence and safety while allowing for customization to their specific needs and disabilities. With our first brainstorm, we tried to target both groups. INITIAL BRAINSTORM (CONCEPT GENERATION) In our initial brainstorm, we developed over 50 concepts which addressed many of our broad user needs. A sampling of our initial concepts:     Seeing eye vest Robotic Nurse Snake form-factor Exoskeleton    Muscle stretcher Device in bed Tensegrity wallet   Suspension wheelchair Social buddy robot Although we did not use of all of these concepts, they drove our second round of ideation. We consolidated these concepts into broad themes of form and function, which served as jumping off points for our second concept generation brainstorm. REFINED BRAINSTORM (CONCEPT GENERATION) In our second series of brainstorms, we generated concepts specifically for elderly home healthcare, targeting our needs at the time. We generated another 50 concepts, bringing our total to 100 concepts. We then voted for our favorite concepts, and compiled a list of our top 12 concepts: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Rehab device Social Ball Medicinal Dispenser Power Lifter Ramp 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Assistive Visor Empathetic Snake Chair Assist Biofeedback Vest Walker 11. Customizable Ball 12. Back Brace Concept Selection CONCEPT SCREENING MATRIX (APPENDIX D) The team used a selection matrix to compare various tensegrity concept categories. As a benchmark, we used the industry standard for care: a hired caregiver. We screened based on our core user needs at the time, as well as alignment with team goals and technical feasibility. The results of this screening process led us to focus on several areas for concept scoring. The concepts which met the most success met at least four of our five core needs at the time, as well as cost-effectiveness and prototype viability. CONCEPT SCORING (APPENDIX E) We used a concept scoring matrix (Appendix E) to decide on concepts to prototype. We scored the top concepts based on the same criteria from our screening matrix, and weighted the criteria based on importance. We then assigned numerical scores to each concept in each category. From this scoring matrix, the  “Social  Ball”  and  “Chair  Assist”  concepts  were  clear  winners, and continued to the prototype phase. Both offered clear advantages in prototype viability, ease of use, and cost. We also prototyped the third-highest  scoring  concept,  the  “Assistive  Visor,” for feedback at the Midterm Tradeshow.
  4. 4. Prototyping, Final Product, and User Feedback EXOSKELETON TENSEGRITY PROTOTYPE (APPENDIX F) To better understand Tensegrity, we rapid prototyped  the  “Exoskeleton  Tensegrity” concept. We used a 3D printer to manufacture an ABS plastic tensegrity finger. This prototype helped us understand how difficult it is to construct a balanced tensegrity structure. However, the Tensegrity Exoskeleton didn’t  directly  fit  with  our user needs, so we scrapped it. TENSEGRITY SOCIAL BALL (APPENDIX G) A second prototype we developed was the “Tensegrity Social Ball” (video). The ball is selfactuated and interacts with users in the home. The ball would provide timely medication reminders and monitor their health while providing a friendly conversation. We wanted to explore the soft and interactive nature of Tensegrity technology, but, seniors had a difficult time understanding the product in interviews. They didn’t  express   much interest once they seemed to understand the concept. Seniors were not sold on the idea of social interactions with a robot. Ultimately, we decided to focus on our final prototype and product: the Tensegrity Chair Lift. TENSEGRITY CHAIR LIFT (APPENDIX H) Our final product is the Tensegrity Chair Lift. We decided to choose the Tensegrity Chair Lift (Fig 1) as our final product because of both positive feedback from user interviews and its viability as a future product. Our first “feels-like”  version of the prototype demonstrated the lifting mechanism by hinging two pieces of plywood together and attaching rope on the back of the top plywood piece to lift the seat. We further developed the tensegrity chair prototype by covering it with fabric. This addition improved the aesthetics, enabling users to interact with the chair without being distracted by its nontensegrity design. We  developed  a  “looks-like”  prototype  in  CAD,   which we included in Appendix H. FIGURE 1: INTRODUCING THE TENSEGRITY CHAIR LIFT PROTOTYPE USER FEEDBACK (SEE PROTOTYPE APPENDICES F-H) After developing our initial product prototypes, we met with seniors and experts to demonstrate our ideas and receive feedback. ● Shirley, an elderly woman, was very interested in the potential of new technology to help seniors sit and stand up from their chairs, in the form of our Tensegrity Chair Lift. She immediately thought of a friend who would use the product, but called it ugly and an eyesore. ● Joan, another elderly woman living at home, thought the Tensegrity Chair Lift could be very useful if it was light enough to be carried around and used on chairs and benches when seniors are out of their house (for example: stadiums, parks, concerts). ● Joan’s  husband, who has severe dementia, was  injured  because  he  didn’t  realize  he  had activated the motorized lifting chair in which he was sitting. End result: he fell, and they disconnected the motor immediately.
  5. 5. ● Cheryl,  an  architect  for  Ashby  Village,  disliked  our  social  ball  prototype,  because  she  couldn’t   understand what problem it solved. She also mentioned the ball was a major tripping hazard for someone with poor vision and reflexes. Economic Analysis & Business Plan (Appendix I) BENCHMARKING Price of comparable items:      Wheelchair $250 and up. [1] UpLift Seats $100 and up. [2] Caregiver $18 and up per hour. [3] $26,000 per year for service four hours per day. US nursing home $76,680 per year. [4] MARKET SIZE In 2008 there were 38,690,169 seniors in the US, which is 12.7% of the population [5] (Fig 2). Assuming 20% of the elderly would have a use for our product, maximum market size is approximately 7.5 million users. If we advertise to potential customers through AARP, and other senior organizations, which have a combined membership approaching 38 million, we estimate we could reach 50% of our potential user base. Of the customers who see advertising, 3% are estimated to purchase the product within a 3-year time span. This gives us about 100,000 units sold over three years. Annualized, the sales are $10 million a year if the unit is priced at $300, strong sales for a small company. With an approximate manufacture cost of $85 per unit, expenditures would be $2.8 million annually on hardware. The company could have 60 employees at an average overhead of $80,000 per employee per year, and still turn $2.4 million in profits annually. Although these numbers are very optimistic, they showcase the large market and potential profit margins in selling to American senior citizens. FIGURE 2: PROJECTED US ELDERLY POPULATION FOR NEXT 50 YEARS
  6. 6. Triple Bottom Line Analysis (Appendix I) Our triple bottom line addresses our users and their needs, the environment, and provides us with a sustainable business model. Check out the summary diagram below: Lessons Learned (Appendix J) GENERAL THOUGHTS Our challenges this semester are best summed up by this quote from playwright John Galsworthy: “Idealism  increases  in  direct  proportion  to  one's  distance  from  the  problem.”  As we got closer to the problem through user interviews, we realized the scale and difficulty of the elderly healthcare issue facing the US. Our concepts subsequently became less abstract and idealistic, and more concrete. We were surprised at how well Ashby Village was addressing this problem, and at the strengths of a community over a product or service. We also learned about the need  to  “dive  deep.”  We  continually  had  a  problem  with  the  initial   broad and abstract specifications of our project, and consequently had trouble creating concrete needs and concepts. As we received feedback about this issue, we adjusted by focusing on specific needs, problems, and concept areas. Our project was a  “solution in search of a problem.” The team had a lot of trouble understanding what exactly Tensegrity was, and where it was useful. Only when we visited the NASA Ames Research Center, and met with the Tensegrity Robotics researchers there, did we began to understand the strengths of Tensegrity robots. Unfortunately, this happened in week 6 of the semester. The lesson here was to thoroughly research and understand a new technology before you try to brainstorm concepts for it. RECOMMENDATIONS ● This project was difficult to communicate, both as we struggled to understand the technology and explain it to users. The NASA team needs to come up with clear and compelling prototypes to successfully communicate the concept, and explore possible  “experience  demonstrations.” ● Through our research, we became convinced that Tensegrity robotics have the potential to make a powerful impact in improving quality of life for elderly users in the home.
  7. 7. Works Cited [1] Amazon http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=4075961 [2] Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dhpc&field-keywords=uplift%20seat [3] Caregiverlist.com http://www.caregiverlist.com/Rates.aspx [4] Payingforseniorcare.com http://www.payingforseniorcare.com/longtermcare/statistics.html [5] CIA World Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(United_States)#Costs_and_funding_challenges http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicaid#Budget
  8. 8. Appendices Appendix A: User and Expert Interviews 2.12.13 Interview with a UC Berkeley Bio-Engineering Major About the Interviewee:     UC Berkeley Bio-Engineering (4th-Year Undergraduate) Minoring in Mechanical Engineering Does research on mechanics of hip and shoulder implants with Professor Lisa Pruitt, UC Berkeley Interned with surgeon for one summer and observed many surgeries Lessons Learned from Interview:  Interview the expert in context. (as described in the video) An interview about a hospital is much  harder  in  the  person’s  house than at the hospital where they might have been reminded of important product functionalities necessary in their job.  Don’t  take  notes  while  interviewing.  Instead record the interview and take notes soon afterwards when listening to the tape recording. This will allow the conversation to flow more naturally.  Have  far  more  prepared  questions  than  necessary,  but  don’t  feel  compelled  to  use  them  all. By taking more questions than necessary into the interview the interviewer can allow the conversation to take any direction it needs to, instead of forcing the expert to answer questions that might be less important than other (possibly unexpected) things the expert wants to discuss.  Give the subject of the interview time to prepare. By giving the interview subject a description of the project in advance, they might have thoughts prepared for the interviewer. Also, this means when they are going about their job for the few days prior to the interview they are thinking about their job in context of what you are going to ask. User Needs:            Quickly and easily calibrated or tested to confirm safe operation before use Respond to oral commands The robot is able to be sterilized Lost Cost system Easily repaired or reused Materials - hypo-allergenic, heat-resistant for autoclave, Small size - hospitals have limited space Battery powered so there are no cords to trip over Uniform treatment across multiple patients Keeps records of treatments for each patient Has multiple levels of redundancy for safety
  9. 9.  Can confirm the identity of the patient to ensure the proper person is treated Transcript: What are the potential applications of robotics technology? Object retrieval, in small spaces - say under a bed. A patient may drop something and the robot might retrieve it from under the bed. A tensegrity robot might roll1 to move under small spaces like under the bed in this example. (Interviewee cites NASA example) Another possible use: Robot has a timer and gives the proper doses of medication at the proper time. Walk me through the procedure to use a robot in an operating room. 1. The robot would have to be prepared or sterilized. 2. The nurse would have to test the robot was functional and operating safely before the patient or doctor entered 3. The  robot  would  respond  to  doctor’s  voice  commands 4. The doctor tells the robot which surgery is being performed and what instruments are in use 5. The robot would be put through an autoclave when the procedure is finished Other important details: -The robot must be battery powered so there are no cords to trip over. - The robot must respond to oral commands because the surgons hand - The entire robot must be able to fit into the autoclave for sanitation. - Doctors want a robotic scrub nurse who can keep track of his/her tools and hand him/her the proper instrument at the right time. What do you like about existing products? - Intiutive  Surgical’s  Da  Vinci  Robot  allows  for  very  small  controlled  movements  can  be  made  using   robotics in surgery.  This  robot  goes  inside  small  spaces  inside  the  human  body  where  a  surgeon’s  hand   would not fit. - Robotics systems in healthcare allows for more uniform treatment across multiple patients. This allows for better treatment of all patients. Also, medical studies that use robotics have better control groups and fewer variables in care that might unintentionally affect results. What are the disadvantages of current robotics in medicine? -Most robotics products are very large and only used in the operating room. The technology has applications  outside  the  operating  room,  but  it  isn’t  being  developed  further.   What issues do you consider when purchasing a robot for healthcare use? - Can it be sterilized? - Cost
  10. 10. - Materials - allergies, heat-resistant materials, - Size - hospitals have limited space Citation: 1 http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/tech/asr/intelligent-robotics/tensegrity/superballbot/
  11. 11. 2.22.12 Rebecca suffers from Scoliosis Pre-med, 2nd year student Statement Need “doctors  didn’t  care  about  my  pain” Product should be empathetic “nurses  were  late  with  my  medication” Product must be able to complete time sensitive tasks “I  cannot  sit  or  stand for long periods, many chairs are  to  uncomfortable” Product must protect the patients weakened regions. “I  plan  my  day  around  seating  and  walking   distances” Product must provide user with equipment to travel freely. “I  spent  all  day  in  the  hospital  bed  watching  TV” Product must provide companionship “my  mother  had  to  take  care  of  me  24-7 Product must reduce the caretakers workload “specialists  changed  and  did  not  know  what  the   previous  specialist  had  done” Product must interface with and improve communication between all users rather than add complexity “hospital  checked  up  four  times  after  surgery” Product provides better monitoring that is remote Reflection Rebecca was my first interview for this project. I feel like although our interview had a decent flow, if I could do it over I would have focused in more on some of the specific questions. Especially now that we have focused on specific project goals I would like to interview her again and ask her more about each concept in specific.    Rebecca’s  interview  was  difficult  to  get  as  much  out  of  because  her   greatest problem was the pain. She had some restrictions on her mobility, but other than that her problem was essentially pain. Having Josh know her enabled him to ask more specific questions after I had steered the conversation in a specific direction but run out of questions. If Josh had led the interview, his knowledge of her would have steered the conversation but instead it added more depth. Interview Transcript Partial Transcript of notes taken while doing the interview: Q: What do you on a typical day? Spends most of her time working -> Chemistry, physics
  12. 12. On weekends, I work, do something with her boyfriend or her close group of friends. Wake up, shower, and take my meds. Has a handicapped parking permit and drives to class. Q: Do you feel like any part of your routine is different than normal? “I’m  in  constant  pain,  all  the  time.”  Her  life  has  been  very  altered  by  her  crippling  back  pain.  My  routine   is different from everyone else. Q: If you could have something to help you out, independent of cost or feasibility, what would you want to be improved in your life. What would you do to make it better? On  a  typical  weekday  morning,  I  don’t  think  there’s  any  outside  influence that could really impact how I feel.  The  majority  of  my  issues  can’t  be  helped  at  that  point.   Q: What about  in  the  rest  of  your  days,  is  there  anything  you’d  change?  I  know  you  spend  most  of   the day on campus, walking and standing is really tough right? The only thing I can do indefinitely is lie down. Q: Do you alternate between sitting and standing? I  try  not  to  stand  too  long,  I  walk  around  campus  but  I  don’t  stand  for  an  hour.  Any  time  I  go  to  the   library, I have to use a comfortable chair, so I plan my  schedule  around  that.  When  I  go  home,  I  don’t  sit   at a table; I lie in bed or stand up. Q: You plan to have better places to sit on campus. What else do you have to plan around in your day? That’s  a  big  one:  what  seating  I  have  access  to,  where  I’m  going.  In  social  situations,  it’s  even  worse.  It’s   more  minor.  When  you’re  in  a  position  like  mine,  sitting  in  an  uncomfortable  chair  for  an  hour  may  not   be  the  worst  thing,  but  when  you  put  that  in  combination  with  carrying  a  bag,  backpack,  it’s  hard.   I have huge  problem  set  books  which  are  the  only  thing  I  can  carry,  I  can  drive  them  but  it’s  difficult  and   an inconvenience, especially when I have to carry my computer as well. When I can, I plan my day around dropping stuff off at my car. In terms of school, it’s  hard  for  me  to  sit  down  an  extended  period  of  time  and  take  notes,  because  of   my  back  problems.  So  having  a  computer  helps  with  that,  I  don’t  have  to  that.   Q: You’ve  gone  through  a  couple  surgeries.  Have you had major surgery? I have scoliosis, which we found when I was 8 years old. I wore braces for it, and when I was a senior in high school, I had a spinal fusion surgery (May 2011). They cut open an incision 14 inches long in my back; they placed rods on either sides of the curve, and put screws in my vertebrae to hold the curve of my spine in place. The recovery was quite extensive; the surgery was 8 hours long Q: What was your first memory? My first memory was opening my eyes in the hospital room I was going to be next 8 days. I woke up in excruciating pain ->  screaming  in  pain.  “Begging  for  pain  killers.”  I  spent  two  months  in  a  hospital  bed  in   my house, slowing gaining my mobility and freedom. I spent the whole summer recovering. She was 18 years old.
  13. 13. Q: What was care like at home? Especially in the  first  couple  weeks,  constant  care.  I  couldn’t  have  been  left  alone.  Her  mom  needed  to   take  complete  care  of  her;  we  didn’t  want  to  hire  a  nurse  who  wouldn’t  have  done  a  good  job.  I  couldn’t   shower  by  myself;  I  couldn’t  dress  myself  or  even  get  out  of  bed. Insane amounts of medications to manage, prescriptions. Having someone there for me was incredibly lucky (my mom). Q: How was having your mom take care of you? My  mom  didn’t  leave  the  house  for  three  weeks.  When  she  left,  she  left  me  with  someone  else. Q: What interactions did you have with hospital staff after returning home? A mix of nurses and specialists came to visit the house, to make sure she was doing the right exercises, dress the wound, and recovering. Q: Did the hospital track your recovery? No updates, really. Obviously I followed up with my symptoms, and the hospital called for an assessment of the quality of your stay. Q: What other surgeries have you had? I  had  four  other  surgeries,  injections  into  my  back,  and  a  heart  surgery.  I’m  having  another  major   surgery this summer. Q: What were the surgeries like? Bad anesthesia experience with heart surgery, I woke up in the surgery because they did the anesthesia wrong. That was really scary, traumatic. I was very much affected by that procedure. Q: What was a day like two weeks after the surgery? Wake  up  at  9.  My  temperature  was  off,  I  would  be  really  cool.  I  would  let  me  mom  know  that  I’m  up;  get   in the hospital bed with the help of my men. Take all my meds, because I would be in intense pain, a cocktail of meds. She would make me breakfast. I would watch TV all day long, which was all I could do. I would very, very slowly walk around the cul-de-sac, and that would be my exercise for the day. I would tell her when I needed to go to the bathroom, and she would get me out of the bed. And then 930-10, I would go back to bed; she would help me go up the stairs very slowly. Q: What sort of emotional state were you in? Depends, sometimes all you can think about the pain. Your life is marked, day by day, by pain, pills, hospital bed, TV show; the next TV show would break up your day. Markers of my day, the next TV show. When my ex-boyfriend came home, that would be a huge marker, when he came to visit. Or when family would spend time with you, which was huge. Least amount of pain was a marker. Meaningful. Q: So loneliness was a big issue? Oh  yes:  I’m  the  only  one  in  the  hospital  bed,  an  invalid.
  14. 14. Q: Another surgery this summer, what do you wish could be different or better? Ideally. In the hospital and the home, it was so much of a burden on my mother to do everything for me. I would want to lift that burden off of her, which would be very meaningful. Because she could be there for me, because she was doing so much for me, she was emotionally and physically drained. That would be meaningful. Stuff like that. Getting food, or putting a pillow under my knees, because I needed that. Giving me the right medicine the first week, or even in the hospital. There was a problem: I had to get the correct doses on the correct time, every time. There was such an issue of not getting adequate medication on time, even if the nurse was coming in and  giving  me  a  pill.  It  didn’t  happen, nurses were switching shifts. You literally had to hunt the nurse down. Q: Did you have other frustrations? The insensitivity of doctors. I had to get the dressing of my back. They put adhesive all over my back and then the doctor came in, and without any concern for my pain, every time he touched my back I was in a spasm of pain. He turned me over and ripped it off. I screamed out loud. Only some doctors, some  nurses.  Everyone  was  very  busy,  things  don’t  get  done  on  time,  and  things  get  lost  in  translation. If  you  need  to  use  the  bathroom,  they  won’t  be  there.   There’s  not  good  communication,  when  you  see  the  physical  therapist,  what  they  did  one  day,  the  next   guy  didn’t  know  about. You’re  in  a  different  world  from  your  family,  you  in  a  hospital  bed  and everyone is normal.
  15. 15. 2.23.13 Chris  Finn’s  Home  Healthcare  Interview  Writeup Introduction and Reflections Chris Finn is a quadriplegic and the coach of the USA National Power Soccer Team, which he has led to consecutive world championships. Power soccer is a competitive team sport for people with disabilities who use powered wheelchairs to play a specially-designed variant of “Chris  Finn  caught  the  soccer   soccer,  and  continues  to  be  a  very  important  part  of  Chris’   life. bug at an early age. Growing up We met Chris through a contact at the Ed Roberts Campus, a leading national institution dedicated to disability rights and universal access. Chris has never let his disability hold him  back,  instead  describing  it  “more  like  a  new  challenge,  I   have to work out and  do  things  differently.”    He  was  only   one year older than me, a senior in college, when he suffered a freak accident which left me permanently disabled. I Two of the major themes from our hour-long interview with him were mobility, and independence. Primary needs were mobility, reliability/trust, independence, empathy, and 24hour care. Independently taking care of himself was one important need. Another secondary need was to remove some of the burden from his caregivers and family, important to him to that he could do some stuff on his own. Whether he wanted to cook his own meals, get into the shower by himself, or drive himself to a meeting, he often was unable to do this, and this inability frustrated him. in Wisconsin, Chris spent most of his childhood and high school years participating and playing at a competitive level. But a freak accident at 21, which left him a quadriplegic, ended what he thought would be any chance to continue competing at the sport he loved. With little designs left in athletics, Chris finished school and began looking for a career. Little did he know his life would come full circle…” – http://thebadassproject.com/chrisfinn/
  16. 16. Statement “I  can’t  get  into  the  shower on my own, but I hate  having  a  caregiver  help  me,  it’s   embarrassing.” Needs Product provides or enhances dignity to the user. “I’m  always  traveling  and  I  can’t  carry  150lbs  of   equipment  with  me.” Product is lightweight and easy to transport. “I  wish  I  could  use  my  microwave  to  make  my   own dinner, and take some of the burden off my  caregiver.” Product helps user with everyday actions. “The  height of counters, tables, and other furniture  is  never  where  I  need  them  to  be.” Product needs to compensate for poorly targeted design choices of home use spaces. “Cooking  and  other  housework  is  always  a   problem for me, since everything is difficult to access.” Product allows user to perform chores and daily activities. “My  dad  fed  me  in  the  hospital,  he  pretended   the fork was a bumblebee and buzzed it into my mouth. When I came off my ventilator, the first  thing  I  told  him  was  “Dad,  if  you  do  that   again  I’ll  kill  you!”  (jokingly). Product allows user to retain dignity. “I  found  it  really  difficult  to  go  from  being  an   invincible 20-year-old to losing all my independence and mobility.” Product provides a feeling of independence to user. “My  attendants  spend  a  lot  of  time  to  help  me   stretch  my  muscles.” Product assists existing caregivers. “If  my  attendants  were  to  abandon  me  or  not   show  up,  I  would  be  screwed!” “Sometimes  I  get  lonely  since  I’m  not  as   mobile, you can get people to come to you, but you have to make the effort.” Product does not break down, and provides a sense of reliability. Product eases communication with outside world, and reduces outside loneliness.
  17. 17. CHRIS FIN INTERVIEW NOTES Easy Pivot Cons -very heavy, has to be broken into 3 parts, 150lbs Pros -Helps him get in and out of bed Chris wants something lighter that could collapse like a stroller, mobile, easier to use, still able to wheel around. Possible solution could be a lighter weight metal or polymer or some other design all together. A shower chair that you could wheel into the shower if there is only a tub in the hotel Attach a bracket and slide a chair over to sit in the shower And this was collapsible into a suitcase size THINGS TO LOOK AT Cost Insurance (medicare medicad) Department of vehicle that help to pay for things MICROWAVE He wants to be able to warm things up in the microwave himself and has his own design for this purpose  where  he  is  able  to  reach  into  the  microwave  and  take  the  “basket” To have something hold a plate with a handle 6in high -Needs to not burn his hand when picking up He  isn’t  really  capable  of  operating  a  stove  so  it  is  important  to  have  a  way  to  cook  food DISABILITY Quadrapelegia 4th and 5th vertebrae injury from freak accident after following in bathroom 4th year in college ROTC 20 years ago Got dizzy and fainted after falling Mindset -What’s  next?  What  to  do  now?  With  complete  lifestyle  change -Thinking  you’re  invincible  partying  sports  and  now  you  can’t  move  when  mobility  used  to  be   everything -However he can still think I sometimes thinks he takes his current state for granted He used to drive a van with modifications till it broke -First  few  days  he  didn’t  realize  the  extent  of  his  injuries  and  then  it  finally  hits  him  and  say  well  that   sucks and oh shit -It was more like a new challenge and has to work out and do things differently and goes out ot see how much he can do -Went  form  what  can  I  do?  Not  what  can’t  I  do -At  firs  the  couldn’t  move  his  arms  at  all  and  there  was  a  lot  of  therapy  the  first  6  months  and  learning   to sit up TYPICAL DAY WALKTHROUGH
  18. 18. -Personal care attendant come in wash up medication, bathroom, stretching, get dressed, getting out of bed with transfer device -Get in chair, have something to eat (breakfast), brush my teeth, shaving set his computer up with voice activation to type, track ball instead of a mouse on computer, -Starting a business for doing motivational speaking -Doing a lot of writing to sell those -Develop a personal life coaching program FUSTRATIONS IN DAILY ROUTINE -When voice activation says the wrong words, And it takes so long to correct it -Transportation is really expensive to fix with the modified vehicles. Wants to drive. -The  height  of  things  like  counters  and  tables.  Be  able  to  get  under  things.  Can’t  fit  under  tables  since   he -is kind of a taller guy. Do things like cook and get up to the sink. -Access to things in general. Setting up things in the apartment. -Examples: drawers rolled out smoother, so door system for the cupboards roll out to access, opening up the blinds because he need someone to twist the blinds, locking and opening windows, automatic door opener (he already has), being able to see into a mirror better RELATIONSHIPS WITH ATTENDANTS -It’s  a  group  of  people,  one  person  5  days  in  the  morning,  and  other  2  days -Other that come throughout the day for other things like food, and other general things -Hired and paid by Supportive Services -Person comes in and estimates how much you need(help) and gives you a certain number of hours to fulfill your needs -Stretching, dressing, bathing, bathroom, personal hygiene, cooking meal, cleaning: dusting vacuuming, shopping (sometimes), laundry, basic functions to live and get by -With  the  program  they  are  supposed  to  help  him  with  needs  in  the  home,  so  they  can’t  drive  him   around or really help him with anything outside the house Do you like having attendants? Yea well they are kind of a necessity. He looks to find people that he would get along with but also would be able to fulfill his needs, their personality since you spend 5-6 hours a day with this person. You kind of want to get along with them. You want to find someone that will stay with you a while so things are more streamlined and effective. An effective working relationship. MORE PROBLEMS IN ROUTINE -Access his bags by himself in the sides and whatnot -A lot of things rely on trust, most people are willing to help but things like letting other people pay for stuff for him with his wallet are sometimes a problem. -He goes through life trying not to paranoid because that is no way to live life. -Lesson:  Don’t  put  all  your  cash  in  your  wallet. SAFETY -Getting  around  town,  he  wears  a  chest  strap.  He  isn’t  capable  of  putting  it  on  himself  since  his  balance   is not that great, but if he hits a bump on the sidewalk, without out it he could potentially fall down and become stuck. -Learned the hard way to wear chest strap. He used to see other people use them and thought it was stupid till he fell himself.
  19. 19. -Locks his chair down on the bus and BART. -Story: Was on the bus, when it stopped suddenly and he stood up briefly and then feel face first on the aisle and ended up with tread marks on the face EATING -How can I eat by myself? He sticks a fork in his wristband and brings the fork to his mouth. -This accomplishment meant more independence, and at first he had to get fed -Story:  His  dad  fed  him  the  first  time  in  the  hospital  with  the  bumblebee  and  he  couldn’t  speak  at  the   time since he was on a ventilator, lol and afterwards told his dad if you ever do that again, I will never talk to you again -To his parents he became like a kid again -Mom was like I wish it was me instead of you, you have this whole life ahead of you -Dad  was  upset,  but  what  can  you  do,  can’t  do  anything  now -Family still treats him the same with shit talking, but he just needs more help from them -Independence is always important, especially In college and was brutal to lose all independence WHAT ELSE IS IMPORTANT -Independence, trust -RELATIONSHIPS with girlfriends and friends and family, life is all about relationships -Everything is better with better relationships -One thing he really enjoys a lot is service, giving back to the country POWER SOCCER -Doing a lot through coaching power soccer and translating that to life -A  lot  of  people  with  disabilities  don’t  realize  all  of  the  things they are capable of doing -Try to give them confidence from the court to life You  can’t  do  that  and  you  can’t  do  that,  and  they  get  the  cant  mindset  and  sit  in  front  of  the  TV -This  isn’t  true,  yea  you  can,  You  just  have  to  learn  how.  Strategy  from  court to life -Works with 8-10 years old to 60 years old with all different type of disabilities with boys girls men women -He used to play, but then he became coach after the previous coach retired -Sport transferred to different style -2 time power soccer champion coach -Could potentially play at that level but only with a lot of work TECHNOLOGIES Easy pivot Wrist splints-simple bar through straps with cuff that goes through hand that can hold a pen Driving joystick mechanism, lift to get in van Computer Wheelchair Longer straw Table from ikea that has legs to extend to different lengths Rehab: took an old bedside table that he could raise and lower to different heights for personal care attendant or for him: adjustable Door opener Ramp to get in door: 6in ramp Racer switches for light switches to make it easier
  20. 20. Patio door, he put a handle with a strap to patio door Unlocks door with a chopstick Pill  box,  push  a  button  on  the  side  and  pull  out,  to  put  in  bag  so  it  doesn’t  spill  but  it’s  harder  to  open Lap tray, tray with a cushion underneath (handiest ever) Trackball on computer Headset for the phone. Phone on the chest strap, CLOSING THOUGHTS When thinking of a robot , he thinks of irobot, some autonomous robot that is capable of doing manual work R2d2 might not be able to do a whole lot for him, incapable of stretching his legs, get him out of bed. Like getting the pillbox out of bag and opening it requires fine motor skills. Some type of machine to stretch his legs Stretching is exercise for him Another device he used to use , needed 1-2 people that helped me to stand, to help with the blood flow and bone density Anything with injury, first thing to do is start walking. Have the body be able to sit upright and be dizzy and  acclimated  and  it’s  this  movement that really keeps the body healthy Chinese medicine to keep the body moving, move the arms and bend the knees while just waiting around Reliability  is  key,  if  you  can’t  get  in  and  out  of  bed  you’re  screwed,  can’t  go  anywhere I can eat in bed, but he still needs someone to feed me, you need someone there Lonely without company with attendants Get people to come to you, but you have to make the effort KEY POINT ROBOTS ARE REALLY INCAPABLE OF FINE MOTOR MOVEMENTS RIGHT NOW
  21. 21. 2.24.13 Dr. Park Interview (Medical Doctor) Statement Needs “For  those  who  have  chronic  medical  needs  but   don’t  need  hospitals  and  IV  antibiotics” Product provides chronic medical need support “Hospitals  are  very  expensive” Product is cheap and easily accessible “  babies…  can’t  breathe  on  their  own.  They  have   to be hooked up to a machine with regular visits from  nurses” Product is reliable and is fully functioning 24/7 “…foot  is  amputated  because  they  suffer  an   infection after stepping on something. A robot that replaces their foot or even help them adjust to their new lifestyle can be something that can support  them” Product helps patient adjust to new lifestyle “a  robot  that  figures  out  when  to deliver the medication will be extremely beneficial to the patient” Product records schedule or blood level to determine when to supply medication “I  would  like  to  know  whether  my  patient  has   taken his/her pill three times a day like I instructed them to do, or whether they did their physical therapy” Product provides feedback to doctor or hospital “The  nose,  mouth,  and  urinary areas are sometimes  difficult  to  reach  and  see” Product  is  able  to  see  all  areas  of  the  patient’s   body Reflection This interview was the first interview that I did for this project. Before it began, I made a list of questions I believed that I would go through; however, this was not the case. Based on the responses I’ve  received  I  began  to  ask  questions  that  were  not  on the list. In a way, this helped improve the flow of the interview and made the whole process more emotional and less engineered. I realized midway through the interview to take advantage of using open ended questions and use the responses I got to further divulge and expand the interview. Not only did this improve the flow of the interview, but I was also able to get a better understanding of the issues and needs of medical personnel and patients. Looking back I should have done the interview via Skype instead of on the phone. The issue with doing an  interview  over  the  phone  is  the  lack  of  emotional  connection  between  me  and  Joe.  I  could’ve  gotten   a better understanding or feeling from Joe about some of the issues he deals with. I also learned that a one person interview is not very ideal. Having to record and conduct the interview at the same time is
  22. 22. really difficult. There were instances where there were long pauses in between the responses and questions because of me recording the responses and on numerous occasions I had to have Joe repeats some  of  his  responses.  Overall,  I’m  pleased  with  this  interview.  We  definitely  added  a  different   perspective on the user needs. Interview Transcript (Note some responses are summaries of what was actually stated) Q: What does home health care mean to you? A:  Home  health  care  is  for  those  who  have  chronic  medical  needs  but  don’t  need  hospitals  and  IV   antibiotics. Hospitals are very expensive and home health care can be a cheaper alternative to it. Q: In pediatrics where do you find a need for home health care? A:  Well  a  lot  of  the  patients  I  deal  with  don’t  have  critical  illnesses  or  need  constant  hospital  care,  so  let   me get back to you on that. Q:  So  I’m  working  on  finding  applications  where  tensegrity  soft  robots can play a role in home health care. In what instances would soft robots or any robot would you find helpful to you, nurses, patients, or anyone else affiliated in the home health industry? A: When babies are born prematurely or undergo trauma, sometimes  they  can’t  breathe  on  their  own.   They have to be hooked up to a machine with regular visits from nurses. Maybe the robot can provide constant surveillance on the babies. Q: How about outside the hospital? A: Maybe helping out the permanently disabled. For example, people with diabetes sometimes lose feeling at their feet. There are instances their foot is amputated because they suffer an infection after stepping on something. A robot that replaces their foot or even help them adjust to their new lifestyle can be something that can support them. Q: What are some things that you see a robot providing for a user/patient? A: I can think of three things: service, mobility assistance, and medication. Q: Can you be more specific about service regarding medication? A: For example, there are insulin pumps that learn when to supply insulin. Initially the user manually supplies the insulin, but the pump will learn when to supply the medication automatically. Something similar but with other diseases, such as HIV, can potentially help a patient. There are also drugs that that are most effective at certain blood levels. Having a robot that figures out when to deliver the medication will be extremely beneficial to the patient. Q: What about assisting you or any other medical personal? A: Not sure. Maybe something like biofeedback. There are prostheses out there that move on based on nerve signals. Something similar to this feature, but gives doctors information instead. For example, I would like to know whether my patient has taken his/her pill three times a day like I instructed them to do, or whether they did their physical therapy. Q: What are some of the most common type of issues you see in your patients? A: In acute care, the cold is something very common. In chronic care, diabetes is something I deal with quite often.
  23. 23. Q: Are there any physical challenges you encounter when treating a patient? A: The nose, mouth, and urinary areas are sometimes difficult to reach and see. We have specialty doctors who we will call to deal with these issues. Q:  I  was  just  curious  if  there  was  something  that  a  patient  might  go  to  a  hospital  for,  but  really  don’t   need to? A: Yes, for drug rehabilitation. There are legal reasons why they have to come to the hospital, but let say someone addicted heroin is going through rehab. The hospital would supply certain dosages of medication similar to heroin in small quantities, once a week. This is done so that the individual addicted to heroin can slowly lose their dependency to the drug.
  24. 24. Meeting With Adrian in the BEST LAb February 25th, 2013 Statement         Tensegrity structures are very good at being in contact with things Very robust, extremely difficult to damage tensegrity Forces are distributed  No joint is fixed  Rods of tensegrity robots are joined by cables  Instead of amplifying forces, the forces are deamplified thus requiring less power  Compliant  Little movement at the cables will have a large effect on the displacements of the rods  All forces are axial Actuators changes cable lengths only  10% change in cable lengths can have a significant effect on the rod movement Collapsible – can have the ability to vary in size. Can have size varying from the size of a backpack to a small room Robust – tensegrity like structure allows the robot to withstand sudden introduction of forces Things to consider:  What do we want to sense?  What will it look like?  Will it be able to communicate?  Is it going to replace the human element, the caregiver? 4 factors:  Motion  Sensing  Communication  Manipulation Analysis When Adrian stated that tensegrity structure are very good at being in contact with things, he meant that due to its soft nature, tensegrity structures can interact with anything object without damaging them. Tensegrity soft structures are inherently robust. Due to the elastic nature of the cables and the way the forces are distributed along the rods and cables, tensegrity robots can withstand considerable amount of sudden applied force. The design of a tensegrity structure (none of the joints are fixed and rods are joined by cables) allows it to absorb a lot of impact. The tensegrity robots are able to vary in size so easily because very minimal changes in cable length have a considerable effect on the  rod’s   movements and the overall volume that the parts of the robot occupy is also very small. Things we have to consider when designing and building a tensegrity structure is the motion of the robot, the elements that the robot is going to sense, the communication between the actuators and the controller, and the manipulation of the tensegrity structure
  25. 25. Reflection Adrian, a NASA scientist working on tensegrity robotics, was kind enough to visit Berkeley and briefly explain to us what tensegrity robotics was. Because tensegrity soft robotics is a relatively new field in robotics, we had a lot of questions about them. Some of the things we needed clarification and understanding on were the pros of tensegrity soft robots and what distinguished this type of robotics with conventional ones. Going into this interview, we have a lot of different ideas for potential products in home health care, but all of our ideas seem to be easily solved by conventional robotics. What we needed to get out of this interview was figure out some of the favorable characteristics of tensegrity soft robotics and design a product that revolves around this information. From this interview, we were able to get a lot of facts about tensegrity soft robotics and some of advantages they had over conventional ones. Some of the things that we learned and can use were that tensegrity soft robotics are very robust and can easily change size. A lot of our ideas were small scale, but one of the ideas that grew out of this interview was potentially changing the scale of the robot by considering a tensegrity structure that is twice the size of a human being. Overall,  we  got  a  better  understanding  of  tensegrity  soft  robotics,  but  we’re  still  somewhat   clueless as to what our product is going to be. Two things that we can focus on are potentially designing a product that resembles a ball or snake, because these two design was something that NASA found most success with. In general though, we still need to gather more feedback about home health care and some of the problems surrounding it to implement some of the information we learned at the interview.
  26. 26. Interview Write-up: Medical Supply Store 2.25.12 Johnson Medical Supply Goals for Interview: We wanted to look at existing products and ask the store staff what were common features patients looked for in products. Johnson Medical Supplies: First impressions:   Wide automatically opening door and a ramp leading up to the store. Inside a large selection of products. Types of Products:           Walkers Canes, quad canes, foldable canes Power seat patient lift wheel chairs scooters exercise products daily living aids mobility table bed and seating products Walkers: (Price $200-400)         adjustable seat height and handles brakes foldable seat 12 lbs total weight modular - parts are removable accessories: cup holder, seat pad, tray 8'' wheels for indoor/outdoor use "quiet" Advertising terms: light, small size, ergonomic: contoured handles & brake levers "folds flat for transportation" "warranty"
  27. 27. "Promotes better posture" Shower Stools and Chairs - ($ 50-150) Chairs ($800-1300) - "Attractive, easy to maintain" - Strength, durability, steel - handle extender Power Chairs ($5000 or $550/month rental) Power Patient Lifter ($2,500) - "quiet, smooth operation to reduce patient anxiety" - emergency stop - comfortable Scooters ($1500-2500) - baskets - lights - large tire diameter * All products also mentioned weight capacity Reflection Johnson Medical Supply store was ironically a very difficult place for anyone with disabilities to navigate. It was stuffed full of all sorts of products, which overflowed into the isles of the store. First, we simply looked at the medical products they sell to get a general idea for what types of products are currently on the market. Then we asked the store employees a little about the types of products people wanted. We were surprised at the high cost of very simple products like shower chairs and walkers. The very industrial appearance of many of the products was far different than products in any other store, especially considering the price.
  28. 28. Paul Hippolitus, DSP Director needs of and services for disabled students February 26, 2013 Statement Need “DSP  provides  as  much  aid  as  possible  while   ensuring the essential nature of classes is kept intact” Product provides aid while keeping the core experience intact. “Some  students  are unable to process a lecture at full speed so we have others take notes for them or  use  a  tool  like  live  scribe  to  help  them” Product  enhances  students’  ability  to  process   lectures. “Some  students  are  hearing  impaired  and  require   the use of a caption cart, which captions the lecture  with  a  four  to  five  second  delay” Product helps enhance or replace missing or damaged sensory functions. “students  have  a  difficult  time  in  the  chaos  of  a   discussion” Product assists users in complex and dynamic situations. “Elevators  are  too  small  for  students  to  fit  in  with   their  wheelchairs’ Product enables students to transfer between floors. “The  hills  of  Berkeley’s  campus  are  too  steep  for   manual  wheelchairs” Product provides mobility to user. “Students  are  often stuck during emergency events” Product help user in event of emergency. “Students  do  not  get  sufficient  social  interaction” Product serves to enhance user social life. “nothing  for  me  without  me” Product must be designed with disabled input at every step. Reflection When Seth and I (John) first began this interview it started with a lot of background on disability legislation. While the names, dates, and politics behind the legislation were unimportant, some of the ideas from the legislation showed us new avenues for the design and analysis of our co-robot. The idea of maintaining the essential nature of the activity, as articulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act is an inspiration to aid our users while maintaining the essential nature of their lives. The greatest nugget of information  we  got  out  of  this  interview  was  the  concept  of  “nothing  for   me  without  me.”    We  knew  from  the  beginning  that  this  project  would  require  us  to  carefully  study  our   users in order to meet their needs. What we were not thinking as much about though was bringing our users  into  every  step  of  the  design.    If  we  are  able  to  do  this  it  will  greatly  increase  our  project’s  chances  
  29. 29. of fulfilling their needs. Moving forward we will try to keep potential users in the design loop as much as possible so that we can incorporate their knowledge and experience into the design. I learned how important it is to review an interview several times and dissect each response fully.    In  the  interview,  the  value  of  the  “nothing  for  me  without  me”  concept  was  something  I  picked up on  almost  immediately.    However  the  idea  of  “essential  nature”  was  not  something  that  I  thought  of   until I went back and carefully reviewed the transcript. Interview Transcript Partial transcript of notes taken while doing the interview: Q: Can you provide us with a little background on the creation and evolution of the DSP? In  the  mid  80’s  the  access  board  was  created  at  a  federal  level  to  implement  non-discrimination laws. Over the years the laws have increased their complexity and coverage. The ADA act requires that all government agencies provide accessibility. This led directly to the creation of the DSP to assist disabled  students  at  UC  Berkeley.    One  example  of  the  access  board’s  work  is  that  all  websites  are   arranged in JAWS readable type. This enables blind people to use the internet. Q: What are some of the challenges you face in providing assistance to students. ADA requires that professors provide any aid so long as it does not change the essential nature of the class. This leads at times to a debate between academic freedom and non-discrimination. The concept of essential nature is also difficult to define. For example students with dyscalcula cannot use a calculator on nursing tests, because it is essential that nurses do mental math on the spot. Q: What are some of the common services you provide? The assistance that each student requires is unique. With that in mind some of our more common services are note taking, because the students have difficulty processing full speed. We also use live scribe pens to allow students to play back over the lecture. For the hearing impaired we provide a caption cart so that they can read the professors lecture in real time, but it has a four to five second delay. Our students especially have difficulty during class discussions because of the chaos in the classroom.    If  they  can’t  hear  or  speak  well  they  are  unlikely  to  get  the  whole  discussion  experience.    We   focus on addressing functional limitations, using accommodations unique to each user and situation. We also address the fact that the Berkeley campus is located on a hill, many students arrive with manual wheelchairs, but they all receive power chairs. Also the average age of campus elevators is 50 years and many of them are too small to accommodate disabled students, but they are very expensive to replace. Q: What are some problems that disabled students have that you feel are not being adequately addressed?
  30. 30. Emergency evacuation plans are difficult. Students in wheelchairs have been carried over stairs by the flow of people. We have attempted to give all students with wheelchairs walkie-talkies so they can talk with rescue personal. The problem is the batteries can die or the students might leave their walkietalkies at home. Students who drive to campus lack sufficient parking. UC Berkeley as a whole has a parking problem and the disabled spaces are only mandated at a ratio that leaves us with insufficient spaces. Another key issue for our disabled students is social interaction. Sometimes they come talk to me  just  because  they  don’t  really  know  anyone  else.    I  feel  like  disabled  students  are  often  ignored  by   the non-disabled for fear of offending them our doing something wrong, but this just makes them more isolated. Several disabled students have left UC Berkeley because they felt to alone. Do you have any additional comments? First, I feel like we have difficulty serving our Grad student population. Four percent of undergraduates are registered with the DSP versus less than two percent of graduates. I think that there are a number of  factors  such  as  additional  pressure  and  a  reluctance  to  ask  for  “special  allowances,”  but  I  still  want  to   be able to provide the services that these students need. Also and most importantly in your project remember  that  any  design  for  the  disabled  must  be  an  interactive  process,  “nothing  with  me  without   me.”
  31. 31. 3.3.13 Audrey Wu: BioEngineering Student Introduction I interviewed an old family friend of mine, Audrey Wu. She is a junior in BioEngineering, who has a rare blood condition which requires biweekly hospital visits. Some of her biggest concerns were the impact that her condition has on the rest of her family, and the coldness of the healthcare professionals during the stay in the hospital. User Needs Emotional security from financial burden placed on family Energy to continue relationship with friends and family Emotional connection with doctors and nurses without compromising their jobs Loneliness in the hospital Pain of using needles Reflection and Lessons Learned After conducting an interview with a partner as the transcriber of the pair and attempting to do this interview myself, I realized how much less information I got in the entire process. The pace of the interview was much slower than the other interview and I realized my phone’s  audio  recorder  was  not  good  enough  to  catch  much  of  the  interview  at  all,  so  I  was   incapable of going back to retake some more notes on the entire interview exchange. Also, because of the overall slower pace compared to the interview I had as a pair, there was less information to collect overall and there were some awkward pauses in the process where I had to tell Audrey to wait for me before she continued talking so I could catch up with the notes. This seemed to make her lose her train of thought a couple of times and I had to prompt her on what she was talking about prior to the pause. This caused the interview process to be much choppier than expected and I found I had to go back to written down question more often than thinking of follow-up question organically. I ran out of question at the end and unfortunately that is how the interview ended, so next time I will have to plan and write down more questions to keep the interview going. My process for this interview was that I hypothesized Audrey would have less to talk about the physical medical technology part of having her specific condition of anemia and more to talk about the emotional problems of her medical condition. This is why I tried to focus more on the emotional side and determine the emotional needs that she needed fulfilled because of her medical condition. As the interview progressed I saw that her main concern that she seemed to feel was in fact her relationships and not her physical needs that needed to be fulfilled because she really did not interact with too many medical equipment. This was mainly because she could function by herself normally 99% of the time without any assistance from other people during her daily routine. It was only the hospital visits that were holding her back and her physique because she
  32. 32. ran out of energy some weeks during her recovery. Her main concern specifically was her family and friends. Unfortunately this interview did not produce as much as the other interviewees who had more severe physical handicaps. Many of the emotions Audrey felt were to be expected and there were no real insights that varied too much from that of the other interviews. The user needs that were collected in this interview were merely emotional ones since she had practically no experience with medical equipment or technology used with handicapped people. Interview Transcript [Audrey Wu] Partial transcript of notes taken while doing the interview. Note: some lines are just summaries of what was actually said. Q. What is the worst part of the hospital experience? I  would  definitely  say  the  cost  of  being  at  the  hospital,  but  I  guess  that  isn’t  a  tangible  worst   part of the hospital, but that definitely follows you around for the rest of your daily routine, the constant weight of knowing your family has to pay for these hospital visit for me. But  in  terms  of  the  actual  hospital,  I  really  don’t  enjoy  the  loneliness  during  the  biweekly  visits   there. Sitting there for hours on end by yourself without anyone to talk to sometimes is the worst and you just count the hours with television shows. The shows just go on and on and you just  kind  of  blankly  stare  because  you  really  don’t  want  to  watch  the  shows,  you  just want it to be over and go home. It is nice when mom or dad or my sister stays with me, but they generally have  things  to  do  during  the  day  and  they  can’t  sit  there  with  me  all  day  talking  to  me. Q. Could you also go into some other unpleasant experiences you have experienced at the hospital? The doctors have this fake initial kindness when they first meet you to try and calm you down on the whole situation, but as you get accustomed to them, you realize that they really have much attachment to their patients. I guess this is supposed to be part of their job, to not get  emotionally  attached,  but  it’s  just  an  unpleasant  feeling  to  put  your  life  in  their  hands  and   they  don’t  seem  to  have  any  investment  in  you  getting  better.  Or  at  least  they  don’t  show  it. Q. What is the best part of the hospital experience? I  wouldn’t  say  any  part  of  being  in  the  hospital  is  the  “best,”  but  every  once  in  a  while  a  nurse   comes in that actually seems to care and it is always nice to experience those types of people. The only problem with this is that nurses are fickle and they change constantly, at least for me, for each visit. So some visits to the hospital for the blood transfusion are much worse than others. Q. What are just some of the emotions you have felt through this entire experience?
  33. 33. Initially it was a self-pity, and I used to think that was the strongest emotion I felt and the constant  asking  to  myself,  “Why  me?”  But  now  I  know  that  it’s  not  the  emotions  for   myself, but for my family and my friends, that make me feel the worst about this disease. It is the financial guilt and guilt of not having enough energy to dance or have adventures with my friends or not being able to hang out with my friends at all on the weekend because I have to go home to Freemont and go to my  biweekly  schedule  hospital  visit.  It’s  these  things  that  hit   me the hardest. Q. Could you elaborate on the feelings of guilt on your family? The  financial  burden  is  so  much.  My  family  definitely  is  not  rich,  actually  we  don’t  even  make   50k for our total  family  household  income  so  it’s  hard  to  essentially  force  these  bills  on  my   parents  and  even  though  I  have  talked  to  them  about  the  bills,  they  continue  to  say  that  it’s  no   burden  that  my  health  comes  above  all  else,  but  it’s  just  hard  to  believe  and it weighs on me all the time. Not only that, the independence I gained the first semester of college was amazing and I felt like I finally left home, only to have to come back home again and have my parents drive me to and back from the hospital on the weekends. This was an unfortunate change for me Q. Could you tell me about some of the technologies that you used at the hospital? I  can’t  say  too  much  on  this,  because  I  don’t  really  use  too  much.  Initially  I  had  some  blood   work done when I initially went to  the  hospital  just  for  being  sick  and  low  on  energy  and  that’s   where they diagnosed me. Yea they just did a lot of blood work, diagnosed me and told me that I had to come in every 2 weeks to get my levels tested and see how I was doing and to regulate my blood levels. Q. Can you talk about some of the medical equipment you found unpleasing? I  really  don’t  enjoy  needles,  but  I  eventually  kind  of  got  a  little  desensitized  to  the  entire  needle   in arm thing, but I still really do not enjoy it. There are some cool tricks that some nurses do some  it  doesn’t  sting,  but  not  all  of  them  do  it.
  34. 34. 3.4.13 Kie Fuji Interview Interview Transcript Q: Could you go through your daily routine? At 6 in the morning wake up, my attendant stretches my legs and arms for an hour She helps me change clothes and with my personal hygiene routine. She then transfers me from the bed to the chair and helps me get my food ready which I eat in my room. I get my books and papers that I printed in my backpack. My attendant helps me from 6-7:30 am and then I have classes from 8-12. Then the 2nd attendant comes to help me get food afterwards. Twice a week I work out at Pleasanton for 2 hours each. Q: Could you talk about your attendant schedule? She has 4 different attendants She preps dinner. Because  of  her  physical  limitation  she  can’t  write,  so  she  has  homework  scribes. She goes to club meeting 7-8. Other days she goes to study groups. She has a morning attendant, one on the weekday and one on the weekend, same for lunch Night attendant works every day. She gets stretched for an hour at night because her muscles tightened up. Someone comes in once during the night because she sleeps on one side and she gets pressure sores and they roll her over. Q: What are some difficulties on campus? Can’t  press  elevator  buttons.  Needs  to  ask  random  people  to  press  buttons  for  her The building in SLC has a good elevator that has regular elevator and you can hit it with the chair since big and lower The door opener has the top switch but not the bottom one The sign walks for when pressing it is hard There are cracks on the sidewalk and the wires of her wheelchair got stuck once LeConte, says there is an accessible area here, but there were stairs, and sometimes the signs are misleading and she had to go around the building. Same problem for wheeler. Has to take 2 elevators and has a roundabout way to get into buildings. She did get a radio from the director, she uses her cellphone in cases of emergency, so she doesn’t  carry  the  radio  around  since its useless to her. Got  hit  by  a  car  one  time.  People  in  cars  don’t  see  her  since  she  was  so  low  while  she  was   backing up. WERE YOU BY YOURSELF WHEN YOU WERE HIT? WHAT DID YOU DO IN THAT TYPE OF SITUATION? People just helped her. In dorms she has the Cal id card and she can scan it to open the door to open the ground floor door. It would be better if she could do that for other doors on campus. It would be more convenient.
  35. 35. Benefit of having a lot of people on campus. There are always people to help out. She once was going down a hill and had a muscle spasm and fell and landed on the joystick. WAS A NIGHTMARE. Really bad sidewalks and hills in Berkeley. Her chair has broken 3 times. Her chair broke down dead week and had her attendant push her around. She wishes they had spare power chairs at DSP for these situations. The motor usually breaks. When  it’s  raining  outside  she  needs  to  wear  a  poncho  because  she  can’t  get  the  joystick  wet   and  she  can’t  get  the  poncho  stuck  in  the  wheels. Q: Could you list off some technologies you use? -For  homework  or  when  she  is  emailing  people,  so  she  just  speaks  into  a  microphone,  but  it’s  a   problem for stuff like chemistry. -Hand strap has a hole to feed herself. -A  lot  of  tables  aren’t  adjustable  so  she  has  to  sit  at the end of the table -For organic chemistry she was talking the full 2-3 hours during the final. -Problems  with  iclickers.  She  couldn’t  press  the  buttons.  There  is  an  app  that  can  be  used  as  an   iclicker for her iPhone. -She  doesn’t  take  much  medication.  No  pain,  but  a  lot  of  spinal  cord  injury  patients’  use  it  to   reduce the amount of pain they feel. The problem she has is when the day changes her body can’t  regulate  its  own  temperature  as  well  because  of  her  disability.  A  nebulizer- put medicine inside (like  an  inhaler  with  a  mask)  and  it’s  supposed  to  open  up  your  lungs  and  cough  up  all  the   mucus. Q: What are some of the emotions you felt during and after the accident? It was caused by a car accident May of 2002, 11 years ago. I used to be a really avid runner and go to junior Olympics and did gymnastics, track and field, dance. It was very difficult transition. I  was  very  confused  with  the  doctor  terminology.  I  was  9  and  didn’t  really  know  what  was   happening, but I did know it was a severe injury because whenever friends and family members would  look  at  me  and  they  would  start  crying.    It  never  occur  to  me  that  I  couldn’t  move  and  I   would ask my mom when I could walk and she would always say in a month. But when I got older it started to hit me more. I was  sad  a  lot  in  high  school.  Elementary  school  wasn’t  too  bad   since people knew me before the accident, but the moving from Georgia to California I had trouble making friends. STORY: In 8th grade,  a  girl  said  to  me,  “Oh  I  didn’t  know  you  could  read  and  write.”  Even  when  I   went to japan, people would just stare at me. Disabled people are less culturally accepted outside of the US. It’s  hard  when  the  doctors  tell  me  to  give  up  on  walking.  They  would  look  at  MRI  and  situation   and tell my parents why they are wasting money to go to Project Walk. They think its false advertisement  which  isn’t  true  because  there  are  so  many  clients  that  have  gone  from  not   being able to walk at all to using crutches.
  36. 36. Q: What was a main fear of yours that happened from your disability? I am scared that my physical limitation will affect me from getting a job that I want in the future. I want to be a radiologist. Radiology was influenced by my accident. I looked up to these  nurses  and  doctors,  but  I  obviously  can’t  be  a  surgeon  or  a pediatrician and radiology would be the most realistic field for me since they analyze images. When I finally shadowed a radiologist he used drag and drop and used a microphone to diagnose and these are all things that I can do even with my disability. Reflection Kie Fuji is a quadriplegic sophomore student of UC Berkeley. We scheduled the interview through my contact with Kie as a student of my high school. She had her accident when she was 9 in a freak car accident that left her disabled and unable to move any of her limbs. Through the years however, she has regained some of her ability to move her arms and her  hand.  Her  dexterity  and  ability  to  move  these  limbs  is  still  a  far  cry  from  an  abled  person’s   ability. The  main  differences  with  Kie’s  life  compared to that of the normal student are her very scheduled life. There is not too much leeway in terms of her schedule. She has a very set schedule with her attendants that come every single day to get her ready for the day and get her ready to go back to sleep. She also needs her attendants to stretch her along with her scheduled stretching session at a physical therapy center. Again, like many of the other disabled people we have interviewed, independence was her biggest concern in her story after she had  come  to  terms  with  her  accident  and  her  disabilities.  She  didn’t  discuss  too  many  issue   with the fact of dignity aside form that fact that she has to ask for help a lot with things like reaching and pressing elevator buttons because she is not elevated high  enough  or  doesn’t   have the arm strength to press the button sufficiently to operate the elevator. She says this can be  embarrassing  and  difficult  when  attending  her  8am  class  when  there  aren’t  too  many   people to ask for help. The expenses of her mobility also remained an issue with her especially with the hills that are everywhere around the Berkeley campus. Kie has already gone through 3 power wheelchairs which cost a lot to repair and replace. Each chair averages 5000 dollars. Also stretching requires at least hour of work for her attendants everyday not including her extra physical therapy sessions. The stretching usually happens once in the morning and once at night. Independently taking care of herself was an important need and if not being able to, being able to trust the caretakers was essential since in the transition from high school to college, Kie had to change from letting her mother and father take care of her to alternate caretakers that are paid.
  37. 37. User Needs Statement    Issues with her life  She has homework scribes  She has 4 attendants that come in and out depending on the day and time of day  It is difficult for her to take tests on subjects like organic chemistry  She is afraid of not being able to do what she wants. Her job capabilities in the future are very limited because of this accident. Campus design features need to be more sensitive to wheelchair students  The elevator buttons are too high; they need to be lowered like the ones in the dorms.  The hills of Berkeley and sidewalks are very tough on power wheelchairs. They strain the motor, either better sidewalks or better, stronger wheelchairs need to be made.  Sidewalk cracks get her wheelchair wheels stuck.  Doors  don’t  open  with  her  CalID   like in the dorms. This would make mobility on campus much simpler  since  she  can’t  open  the   doors herself.  There is no real solution for rainy days aside from wearing a poncho since  her  wheelchair  can’t  get  wet   otherwise it would break. Emotions during the process  Initially she did not know how to feel about the accident, but as she came to realization of what she was capable of she fell into a period of depressions where it was hard for her to communicate with people.  Her mother used to tell her that she would be all better within a Analysis The transition from her parents to caretakers taking care of her was difficult because of the trust that was involved is performing such intimate tasks. Independence and more sensitivity to the trials and tribulations of students in wheelchairs on campus were greatly wanted by Kie. There were many issues here that she described. There were many notes on how her stretching was one of the biggest if not the biggest thing for her physical therapy. To keep blood running through her body was extremely important. She had some ideas on how to make this better. It is hard to communicate people and hold dates and  whatnot  because  of  her  disability.  She  doesn’t   see too many people because of her mobility issues and mainly stays by herself seeing her friends every once in a while. Loneliness is a main issue. If it was easier to set up social meetings it would be better.
  38. 38.  month, but it never came and she eventually came to realize it was a false promise. She not has come to accept it and feels much better about it. She knows her disability and realizes how it will and has affected her life. She is sad sometimes, but usually is fine. Life is lonely sometimes.
  39. 39. 3.6.13 Mark (Volunteer at Ashby Village) Statement Needs “Many  seniors  are  frustrated  about  their  physical mobility  and  lack  of  independence” Product increases mobility “Keyboards  and  touch  screens  are  a  challenge.   Some elderly people with arthritis use their knuckles to type and find it almost impossible to type  on  iPads/iPhones  or  other  touch  screens” Product has simple interface with large buttons or other simple user inputs. “One  older  woman  who  had macular degeneration had a large electric book reader. Since  her  eyesight  was  very  poor,  she  couldn’t   read books anymore so she needed a machine that enlarged the text many times its normal size onto  a  TV  screen.” Product is accessible to users with poor eyesight. “They  are  very  grateful.  Many  are  also  frustrated that they need someone to come help them with simple tasks they used to be able to do on their own,  but  everyone  is  still  grateful.” Product use allows the user to retain their dignity. “Almost  everything  in  Johnson’s  Medical  Supply   store needs to be redesigned. The wheel chairs and other products look like they are from the 1940s and they are all a bland, industrial color. Also,  they  are  very  very  expensive.” Product is attractive. Product is affordable. Reflection: Mark was happy to talk to us and shared many of his thoughts and observations from his volunteer work. This made the interview very conversational instead of a list of questions, which was great. I think this allowed us to better understand what he thought was important since our list of questions did not dictate the interview. In this conversational setting we gathered a significant amount of  knowledge  that  our  list  of  questions  would  not  have  elicited.  For  example,  Mark’s  discussion  of  his   own health care insurance and his observations of the different types of senior living arrangements were new to us. We were very fortunate that Mark had product design experience as well as his experience volunteering with seniors. The interview was set up before we knew his career was in product design, so that was great surprise. He was adamant about redesigning a current product instead of trying to invent a robotic system. This gave us practice with our interviewing skills since we had to collect information about the applications of robotics, without asking any robot-specific questions.
  40. 40. Overall it was a successful interview, and one in which I better followed the interviewing guidelines than in my previous two interviews. Transcript: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you become involved with Ashby Village? Mark works as an industrial and graphic designer. He became involved with Ashby Village when an elderly  neighbor  told  him  about  it.  He  said,  “Everyone  has  an  excuse  to  be  busy,”  but  he  feels  that   volunteering is important. Tell us about Ashby Village. How do you join? Is  there  a  membership  fee?  Etc… Ashby Village is a community of elderly people who are living at home, but have access to a volunteer network. Volunteers help seniors with a large variety of tasks and organize group activities and classes for the seniors. Ashby Village has a membership fee of $1000 per year. Some of that covers the administrative costs, but admin costs are very low – there is only one full time and one part time paid employee – everything else is run by volunteers. What types of volunteer activities have you done with Ashby Village? Mark has taught an iPad class to seniors in Ashby village. He has also done housework or yard work. Little projects like replacing light bulbs or helping someone set up a book reading machine. The types of  volunteering  that  are  most  need  include  driving  elderly  to  doctors’  appointments  …  The  village   provides a social group and a support group to individuals who often start to feel isolated living in their homes. or gardening. How do the elderly feel about having someone come to their home to help them? They are very grateful. Many are also frustrated that they need someone to come help them with simple tasks they used to be able to do on their own, but everyone is still grateful. What are some of the more common problems seniors face? - Frustration over physical mobility and lack of independence - Can no longer drive - Can’t  walk  up  stairs  in  their  own  home,  so  many  elderly  have  stopped  using  half  of  their  house. Solutions: - Cut  curbs  in  the  US  have  helped  mobility.  In  other  countries  you  don’t  see  disabled people walking around in public unassisted. Product Design Perspectives: We asked Mark for specific examples of things the elderly had a hard time using and specific things that worked well.
  41. 41. Elderly Issues/ Solutions: Dexterity issues: Keyboards and touch screens are a challenge. Some elderly people with arthritis use their knuckles to type and find it almost impossible to type on iPads/iPhones or other touch screens. Key-less Entry: Example: Prius – The Prius has key-less entry to the car doors. Also, the car has a keyless start. If the key is in the car, the user only has to press a large button to start the car. This is very convenient for elderly as well as other users. You  said  driving  elderly  to  doctors’  appointments  was  a  very  common  and  highly needed volunteer activity. Can you elaborate on the issues elderly face in getting to a health-care provider? Have you seen any good solutions? I personally can email my doctor since I have Kaiser Permanente health insurance. That has saved me a number  of  trips  into  the  doctor’s  office.  I  have  self-diagnosed a problem, then emailed my doctor. They have electronic health records and healthy life-style programs. In the future I see more health care providers adding electronic options so patients, and especially  older  patients  don’t  have  to  make  a  trip   to a doctors office as frequently. What sorts of products to elderly use to help them remain in their home? One older woman who had macular degeneration had a large electric book reader. Since her eyesight was  very  poor,  she  couldn’t  read  books  anymore  so  she  needed  a  machine  that  enlarged  the  text  many   times its normal size onto a TV screen. Unfortunately, the company she purchased it from left it on the floor  and  she  couldn’t  pick  it  up  and  move  it  to  a  table where she could use it. Other products I have seen are the grabber tools. People use them to pick things up off the floor  since  they  can’t  easily  bend  over.  They  are  also  good  for  grabbing  certain  things  off  shelves.   What do you think about products that are currently on the market? Almost  everything  in  Johnson’s  Medical  Supply  store  needs  to  be  redesigned.  The  wheel  chairs  and   other products look like they are from the 1940s and they are all a bland, industrial color. Also, they are very very expensive. I had to help my mother add a basket to her walker and fit tennis balls on the end of the walker. It is amazing that it was so much of a hassle to use the product for what it was intended for and to have paid so much for it. Do you have any other thoughts about elderly and in-home living? Ashby Village enables many seniors in Berkeley to remain in there home longer than they would  have,  but  it  isn’t  a  solution  that  would  work  in  many  communities.  Berkeley  is  unique  in  that   most of the elderly are fairly well off and have their homes paid off. Also, there are plenty of people willing to volunteer.
  42. 42. In  other  places  senior  living  condos  might  be  the  only  option  before  assisted  living.  But  I  don’t   think those are a very good option. They are extremely expensive and neither the living space or the food is very good. One need for the elderly is the general living environment needs to be re-thought. There should be a more contemporary living option with better food. I would recommend you check out OXO. They are a great example of a company that redesigned a common product into something that can be used by elderly and young people alike. I would recommend you try to redesign a poorly designed product instead of inventing something entirely new in one semester. Additionally, our project involves studying the applications of robotics in healthcare. Do you have any thoughts on the use of robots in healthcare? Would you be comfortable with a robot providing you healthcare? I  don’t  know…  I  feel  like  that  is  pretty  far  in  the  future.  I  read  an  interesting article in WIRED about a new type of robotics that learn by repeating an action people show them. I think the future is very interesting,  but  I  don’t  know  how  they  could  be  applied  now.   Mark asked us: Would you use a Roomba vacuum cleaner? We said no because we were physically fit and would rather pay for better cleaning power instead of a robot.
  43. 43. 3.8.13 Cheryl Crane’s  Home  Health  Care  Needs Statement “Home  health  care  is  providing  for  those  who   aren’t  so  independent” “make  the  lives  of  seniors  easier” “I  found  using  the  key  very  difficult” “I  found  it  odd  that  they  had  these  automatic   faucet and soap dispensers. But I now think they are  so  smart” “Stairs  are  usually  not  recommended  because  a   lot  of  falls  occur  them” “danger  of  slipping or falling in the shower is something that needs to be addressed more often” Needs The product must instill independence to the user The product must simplify daily activities The product must provide the user a sense of security “It  changes  their  attitude  about  life.” The product must allow the user to feel confident “To  us  it’s  a  way  of  communicating.” The product should be able to allow the user to feel more social “Seniors  are  reluctant  to  modify  or  update  their   homes because they have to eventually take it down  or  don’t  want  the  stigma  associated  with   looking  like  a  hospital.” The product must be customizable to the user specification The product must be portable The product must be easily assembled The product must be easy to use Reflection Cheryl Crane is a 60 year old designer who volunteers at the Ashby Village. Her job is to evaluate  people’s  homes  and  make  recommendations  to  make  it  more  assessable  and  safer.  She   usually evaluates the homes of the elderly, and from her experience finds fall prevention, vision and mobility as a top priority. Cheryl Crane is one of few people we got in contact with through the Ashby Village, a program dedicated for the elderly. I decided to approach the interview as if she was a care taker, because her job is  primarily  to  assist.  But  right  off  the  bat,  she  responded  to  one  of  my  questions  saying  that  she  isn’t  a   care taker but just someone who just simply assists. But using open ended questions (something we learn to use after our first interview), I found out that she was in her 60s (one of the age groups that our product is targeted for). So instead of interviewing her as a caretaker, I decided to interview her as an elderly. She definitely gave me a ton of insight of her experience growing older and from her experience on her job and what she observed. Again, I learned to use open ended question and have the
  44. 44. interviewee steer and guide the interview instead of me. I found that this is the best way to remove any bias from my question and discover true needs for our target market. Interview Transcript (Note some responses are summaries of what was actually stated) Q: What does home health care mean to you? A:  Home  health  care  is  providing  for  those  who  aren’t  so  independent,  for  those  who  can’t  provide  for   themselves. For me, I assist those who are independent. I evaluate their homes and make them safer. Q: Can you give me some more specific information on what you do? A:  Well  I’m  an  interior  designer  and  my  primary job is to make the lives of seniors easier. I work with a team of designers who go to the homes of those who contact the Ashby Village. We have a checklist that we go through and look for any potential hazards. We evaluate the conditions of the sidewalk, the way the entrance of the house is set up, side of the house, lighting, kitchen, wiring, bathroom and any other areas of potential pitfalls. One of the major recommendations that I give them is, when possible, to upgrade their stairs to ramps. Stairs are usually not recommended because a lot of falls occur them. Falls is the number thing we try to prevent. Q: Is there a reason why fall prevention is your number on goal? A:  Well  when  a  senior  falls,  the  repercussion  isn’t  just  physical.  It’s  also  mental. There is fear that grows in them that deters them from performing that same task. It changes their attitude about life. Q: In your personal experience what sort of technology do you see involved in the lives of the disabled and elderly A: Well a lot of in home health care involve technology. The automated wheelchair and blood pressure monitor are two examples ... I also read some interesting devices on agenplacetech.com. There was this one device that helped a gentleman with a vision disability see and another about a wearable tech device that has sensors and everything. The  thing  is  people  think  that  seniors  don’t  really  want  to  get  into  technology  and  use  the  computer,   but  that’s  not  always  the  case.  I’m  60  and  a  lot  of  the  people  who  participate  in my apple workshop are older  than  me.  They  want  to  learn  to  use  the  ipad  and  the  computer.  To  us  it’s  a  way  of  communicating. Q: What is something that you noticed is troubling you recently that you previously were able to do? A: Well I found using the key very difficult. I now fiddle with the keys and struggle to open the door sometimes. I sometimes wish that our lock were similar to the ones in a hotel, where a swipe of a card opens the door. There was this one nice house I was inspecting and I found it odd that they had these automatic faucet and  soap  dispensers.  But  I  now  think  they  are  so  smart.  We  don’t  have  to  fiddle  with  anything  and  it   save water. Q: You brought up how fall prevention was your number one goal. What are some common areas besides the stairs do you feel the need for additional assessment? A: The bathroom is a big one. There are some really cool technologies in the bathroom, but the danger of slipping or falling in the shower is something that needs to be addressed more often. There are hydraulic  lifts  that  exist,  but  many  bathrooms  are  simply  too  small  for  them.  Many  adults  don’t  realize   or  refuse  to  believe  that  they’re  growing  older,  and  don’t  really  account  for  it.  
  45. 45. There’s  also  the  matter  of  rental  home.  Seniors  are  reluctant  to modify or update their homes because they  have  to  eventually  take  it  down  or  don’t  want  the  stigma  associated  with  looking  like  a  hospital.   Rental homes are very small and the appliances are very basic and not particularly suited for the elderly.
  46. 46. 3.11.13 Laura, residential architect for Ashby Village Introduction John and I interviewed Laura, a residential architect for Ashby Village. Ashby Village is a concept community in which senior citizens who prefer to age at home pool resources and volunteers to assist one another. As a residential architect, Laura works with an interior designer to assess the accessibility and safety of the homes of elderly members. We interviewed her to get a better understanding of the typical problems she encounters in her assessments, and what problems she is not able to fix. She uses a checklist of things to look for in the home,  along  with  an  interview  of  the  elderly  person’s  needs. She finished by giving the member a report of recommendations to improve their home. Reflections and Lessons Learned Laura thought the needs of the user base (senior citizens) would change significantly as the older boomers,  who  don’t  know  how  to  use computers, die out. This demographic is changing to people who know how to use the internet and computers. So maybe we should target our robot design at this new market, of people who are more comfortable with technology, robotics, and assistive devices. She advocated a lot of home design solutions, remodeling homes or co-living, moving groups of retired people together. Do we want to target groups, like nursing homes, with our robot? This group also increases the resources available to afford and maintain our robot, something to think about. Maybe even more so than current retirees, we may want to talk to future retirees: people who will be senior citizens in 20 years. We have the problems that citizens currently have through our interviews with the elderly. But the people who will be elderly when our product, 10 or 20 years out, finally becomes technologically available at a consumer level, what problems will they have? Pair interviewing worked really well here, we had a nice flow of conversation, got a lot of useful insight, and focused, cohesive notes. The one thing: we would have liked to ask her more questions as she retires. Banking off our last insight: Laura is a future retiree, how will she interact differently with her environment and technology? What problems does she foresee for herself and her generation?

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