Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 609–627 | Cite as

Developing a limb repositioning robotic interface for persons with severe physical disabilities

Long paper


Limb repositioning is necessary for individuals with severe physical disabilities to sustain muscle strength and prevent pressure sores. As robotic technologies become ubiquitous, these tools offer promise to support the repositioning process. However, research has yet to focus on ways in which individuals with severe physical disabilities can control robots for these tasks. This paper presents a study that examines the needs and attitudes of potential users with physical disabilities to control a robotic aid for limb repositioning. Subjects expressed interest in using brain–computer interface (BCI) and speech recognition technologies for purposes of executing robotic tasks. The performance of four subjects controlling arm movements on an avatar through the keyboard, mouse, BCI, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition was evaluated. Although BCI and speech technologies may limit physical fatigue, more challenges were faced using BCI and speech conditions compared to the keyboard and mouse. This research promotes accessibility into mainstream robotic technologies and represents the first step in the development of a robotic prototype using a BCI and speech recognition technologies for limb repositioning.


BCI Robotics Accessibility Limb repositioning Severe physical disabilities 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA

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