Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics IIView this Special Issue
A Robotic Guide for Blind People Part 2: Gender and National Analysis of a Multi-National Survey and the Application of the Survey Results and the Cat Model to Framing Robot Design Specifications
This paper presents a gender and country-based analysis of the results of a multi-national survey questionnaire on the attitudes, requirements and preferences of blind and visually impaired people for a robotic guide. This is introduced by a brief summary of the findings of the survey introduced and reported in Part 1 and a brief overview of some of the technologies that are currently used in the construction of mobile robotic guides. An analysis of the gender dimension revealed very few differences in preferences or requirements between male and female respondents. There was also considerable commonality of preferences and requirements across the four countries, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, for which the comparative analysis was carried out. This implies that, at least initially, one robotic guide can be developed to be used in a number of different countries and by both women and men. The survey results were then applied to develop design specifications for a mobile robotic guide for blind and visually impaired people. The framework of the Comprehensive Assistive Technology (CAT) model developed by the authors was used to organise the information and structure the development of the design specifications. Further work will involve the construction of design mock-ups to implement the design specifications and their investigation with end-users to choose a design for further development.