The Effect of training, aim pattern and target type on the ergonomics and efficiency of handheld scanners

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Title: The Effect of training, aim pattern and target type on the ergonomics and efficiency of handheld scanners
Author: McGeorge, Nicolette M.
Abstract: Handheld scanning is a prevalent industrial task that is prone to injury due to the repetitive motion of the task. Studies conducted with Rochester Institute of Technology and Honeywell have sought to discover the ergonomic and efficiency benefits of various scanning technologies and methods. One factor not fully investigated in these earlier works is the effect of training on the proper use of scanners. This thesis study compares trained and untrained user performance and ergonomics during a series of scanning tasks using a hand held omni-directional scanner. Comparison is based on such variables as target type (image that is scanned), aiming pattern (image projected from scanner) and time stress (self-paced versus time stress paced). Through this study is the potential to assess the value of training on efficiency and ergonomics during hand held scanner use. A trained and an untrained group (each consisting of eight subjects) performed scanning tasks daily for ten days. Wrist postures and task completion times were recorded throughout the study as well as perceived comfort and usability. Results show that the untrained group tended to have greater wrist deviations and thus poorer ergonomics overall. With the exception of the first day, the trained and untrained groups did not differ in terms of efficiency. As a result of this first day difference, level of training seemed to affect efficiency over time resulting in a quick learning curve for the untrained group. There was a significant aim pattern-target type relationship for both training groups in terms of ergonomics and efficiency. Results suggest aim pattern preference was a function of training level. Under time stress, the effect on ergonomics depended on wrist posture and training level, but the trained group tended to have a more detrimental effect to ergonomics than the untrained group. As expected, efficiency increased under time stress, but time stress had no significant effect on perceived usability and comfort.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/10643
Date: 2009-08

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