Performance evaluation of the personal mobility and manipulation appliance (PerMMA)

Hongwu Wang, Jijie Xu, Garrett Grindle, Juan Vazquez, Ben Salatin, Annmarie Kelleher, Dan Ding, Diane M. Collins, Rory A. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Personal Mobility and Manipulation Appliance (PerMMA) is a recently developed personal assistance robot created to provide people with severe physical disabilities enhanced assistance in both mobility and manipulation. PerMMA aims to improve functional independence when a personal care attendant is not available on site. PerMMA integrates both a smart powered wheelchair and two dexterous robotic arms to assist its users in completing essential mobility and manipulation tasks during basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL). Two user interfaces were developed: a local control interface and a remote operator controller. This paper reports on the evaluation of PerMMA with end users completing basic ADL tasks. Participants with both lower and upper extremity impairments (N= 15) were recruited to operate PerMMA and complete up to five ADL tasks in a single session of no more than two hours (to avoid fatigue or frustration of the participants). The performance of PerMMA was evaluated by participants completing ADL tasks with two different control modes: local mode and cooperative control. The users' task completion performance and answers on pre/post-evaluation questionnaires demonstrated not only the ease in learning and usefulness of PerMMA, but also their attitudes toward assistance from advanced technology like PerMMA. As a part of the iterative development process, results of this work will serve as supporting evidence to identify design criteria and other areas for improvement of PerMMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1613-1619
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Engineering and Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistive robot
  • Cooperative control
  • Performance evaluation
  • Personal assistance
  • Powered mobility
  • Remote operator
  • Wheelchair mounted robotic arm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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