Eight users have tried the Manus arm at the Department of Rehabilitation at Lund University Hospital. The user trials were carried out in close co-operation with Certec at Lund University.
After the trials one of the users, Ms Eva Gerdén, decided to buy a Manus arm, and she received her Manus arm in November 1998.
The main objective of the user trials was to find out how robot technology could support the early rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries. Another objective was to increase the knowledge of user needs and what make robots worth using.
This paper presents technical comments received during the user trials and from Ms Eva Gerdén. The results could be used for improvements to the Manus arm, to other wheelchair-mounted manipulators and to robots in general.
One of the most commented issues is the physical size of the Manus arm, preventing the user from driving the wheelchair close to a table or maneuvering the wheelchair through narrow passages.
Two of the users immediately stated that it was awkward to have the Manus arm mounted on the left side of the wheelchair, since they are right-handed.