Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 155–163 | Cite as

Evaluating choice in universal access: an example from rehabilitation robotics

  • A. S. WhiteEmail author
  • R. Adams
  • S. Prior
Long Paper


This paper describes a technique using dimensional analysis that so far has been rarely, if ever, used in studies of universal access. However, this procedure can produce a robust decision support process for inclusive designs. In this paper, it is applied to a case study of a wheelchair robot computer interface with choices in data input methods, addressing disparate requirements of different groups of intended users. The main underlying issue is to combine technical measurements, speed of operation and cost with subjective opinion. It turns out that Braglia’s method has greater robustness in determining rank compared to standard techniques. In this, case a simple switch was rated better than a mouse or voice operation for control.


Universal access Decision criteria Dimensional analysis Interface Rehabilitation robot 

List of symbols




Dimensionless group




Performance index


Running index


Number of variables


Non-dimensional cost


Non-dimensional value for ith rating of device j


Standard value of attribute i for device j


Value attributed to ith rating for device j


Weight i


Sum of individual weights


Attribute i for device j


Attibute i for different device


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and Information SciencesMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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