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Display depend to a considerable extent on the nature of the task for which the information is to be used.

In the visual modality the choice is essentially between an analogue and a digital display, although a number of different ways of presenting these two basic types were discussed. In the auditory modality, the designers choice is more restricted. The following chapter will consider the third main sensory system which is used at work the sense touch. Although the main theme of the chapter will be to discuss ways of enhancing the information flow in the other direction, from the operator to the machine via controls, it should not be forgotten that each time the operator operates a control, for example using a push button, the control shape, dimensions and movement, etc, are also passing information from the machine to the operator. 6. Man machine communications control By enabling the operator to return information to the information to the environment, controls represent the return link in the man-machine close loop system and are very much the complement of displays. Indeed, the value of a well designed display (reduced reading error; faster reading time) could be seriously affected if the many features important in operating its associated control are not considered. Display design was discussed in chapter 5, and so the present chapter will consider factors that are important when designing the operators control and tools. That poorly designed controls alone may lead to inefficiency and breakdown in the man - machine system is well illustrated in a survey carried out by Fits and Jones (1947b). in a complementary study to their investigation of aircraft display reading errors, they analyzed 460 pilot error experience in operating aircraft controls. Of these errors, 68 per cent were related to poor control design. The reminder were owing either to mistakes occurring because of a lack of compatibility between the display and the control ( 6 per cent ) or to poor control placement on the cockpit panel (26 per cent). (Chapter 7 will discuss these points) Inappropriate use of control and control design were also found to be important factors in aircraft accidents in a factor analytic study by Gerbert and Kammler (1986). They considered over 60 different possible causes for accidents and from this list, distilled 27 errors that were most frequently involved in accidents. Factor analysis of the errors led to four primary factors emerging : vigilance errors, information processing errors, perception errors, and sensor motor/ handling errors. The component poor coordination of controls was placed firmly within the last factor, and was related to such pilot variables as tension , nervousness excessive motivation to succeed, and lack of confidence. Clearly therefore, the implication is reinforced that control, and handling activities , are affected as much by the operators ability to interact with them as they are with the design of the components themselves. Controls, therefore, are important components in the system. However, a number of factor need to be considered before an effective control system can be designed that will match the operators expectations, abilities, and behavior. The operators task needs to be understood to determine the degree of accuracy, force precision and manipulation required to operate the system, and these features have to be compared with the operators abilities to carry out such tasks. As always, if abilities do not match requirements than changes in the mechanical part of system should be considered perhaps involving different types or designs of controls and control systems.

This chapter will first consider the kinds of controls available for different kinds of operations. Secondly, some of the factors important in control design and aspects of the system which could affect control effectiveness will be examined. Finally, the discussion will consider the extent to which such factors are incorporated into different types of control. TYPES OF CONTROL Controls are commonly classified into two groups according to their function. The first group includes those controls used to make discrete changes in the machine state, for example switching it on or off , or switching to different levels of activity. Second are control that are used for making continuous settings. For example, a radio volume control allows the user to increase the volume gradually, and to stop at any of an infinite number of intensities within its operating range. McCormick (1976) further subdivides these two functions into discrete and continuous. Discrete Activation- for example, turning a machine on or off Data-entry as on a keyboard to enter either a letter or a number Setting-switching to a specific machine state

Continuous Quantitative setting- setting the machine to particular value along a continuum, for example turning a radio frequency control to receive a specific radio station Continuous control- continuously altering the machine state, usually to maintain a particular level of activity (commonly) known as tracking) for example, steering a vehicle using the steering wheel. Different controls will be more appropriate for some of these activities than for others. The respective advantages of control for different activities are shown in table 6.1

Tabel 6.1 jenis kontrol dan fungsi mereka

berlainan Control Type Hand pushbutton Foot pushbutton Toggle switch Activation excellent Berlainan pengaturan
Dapat digunakan akan membutuhkan tombol sebanyakpengaturantidak dianjurkan

berkelanjutan Data masuk Pengaturan kuantitatif good Tidak berlaku

berkelanjutan Not applicable N/A N/A

good Good, but prone to accidental activations

Not recommended Fair, but poor if more than three possible settings to be made




Can be used,

Excellent, provided




selector switch

Knob Crank

Hand wheel Level

but on/off position may be confused with other positions N/A Only applicable if large forced are needed to active e.g. open/close hatch N/A Good

settings are well marked

Poor N/A


Good Fair

Fair Good



N/A Good, provided there are not too many settings N/A


Good Good

Excellent Good




Of course, no single control is appropriate in all circumstances. Take the case of the ubiquitous push-button as an example. After reviewing the literature dealing with different kinds of switches, Chambers and Stockbridge (1970) showed that in terms of operating speeds the most efficient activation control was the push-button followed by the rocker switch, the slide switch and the toggle switch. The order for accuracy was the reverse of that for speed, however, because the push-button is usually associated with a ballistic-like movement which produced increased speed but reduced accuracy Finally, the usefulness of any control can be limited by such features (if relevant) as the ease to which it can be identified, its location and size, its relationship to the appropriate display, and the type of feed back which it gives to the operator. The next section will consider some of these factors. FACTORS IMPORTANT IN CONTROL DESIGN Feedback Feedback has been discussed already in previous chapters. It refers to the information received, from both outside and inside the body, which helps the operator to assess his or her performance, body position, etc. in relation to hand controls, for example, information that is fed back from the eyes, shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers informs the operator by how much a control has been moved, its speed of movement, and its final position. In addition, feedback from the more sensitive pressure receptors in the skin provides information about the nature of the control being operated: its size, texture and any tactile coding characteristic. In many respects, therefore, this kind of feedback relates to the controls feel. Burrows (1965) points out that control feel arises from two separate sources. First, as just discussed, it occurs as kin aesthetic feedback from the muscles, for example telling the operator where the arm is at the time and the speed with which it is moving through space. As was

discussed in chapter 2, this is a very efficient form of feedback, particularly for learning different skills. Secondly, feel is determined by the control it self in term of the amount of resistance to movement which is built into it, its looseness, etc. of course, to these sources should be added any tactile, visual or auditory feedback loops which may help the operator (for example clicks or marks on the control surface) Control resistance The controls resistance to movement is possibly the most frequently used feedback cue. In most cases, particularly when continuous settings are to be made, some inbuilt resistance is desirable since it helps the operator to make settings with some degree of precision. Resistance can also help to guard against accidentally activating the control, or the wrong kind of resistance is experienced, the operator could become susceptible to fatigue and performance may be reduced. Understanding the nature of different types of resistance, therefore, should enable appropriate controls to be chosen with characteristics that will minimize any possible negative effects while at the same time maximizing performance. Control resistance takes four main forms, and their advantages and disadvantages are shown in table 6.2. Thus it would appear that static friction is most appropriate for discrete settings controls since it reduces the possibility of accidental operation. For continuous settings controls, however, elastic or viscous resistance will allow greater precision owing to the nature of the kin aesthetic feedback which it provides. Regarding the level of resistance to be introduced, it is difficult to suggest specific figures since they will be related to the kind of operator, control location, and the frequency, duration, direction and amount of control movement required. Clearly, however, the maximum level set should lie within the range of abilities of the operating population, for which texts such as those of Damon, Stoudt and McFarland (1971) and Roebuck, Kroemer and Thompson (1975) should be consulted. For minimum levels Morgan et al. (1963) suggest that, for all hand controls except push-buttons resistance should not be less than 2-5 lb, since below this level the hands pressure sensitivity is very poor. If the full weight of the arm and hand rest on the control the minimum resistance should be 10-12 lb. table 6.3 summarizes some of the data available for maximum resistances for different kinds of control. Size Control sizes and dimensions clearly need to be related to the anthropometric dimensions of the limbs used. Thus the diameter of a push button should be at least that of the fingertip (approximately 16 mm); the size of a knob on a lever equal to the breadth of grip (49 mm); and so on. Garrett (1971) provides a set of these various dimensions for the human hand, but it should be remembered that these dimensions will be altered, sometimes considerably, if the operator is wearing gloves. Not only is it important to relate the size of the control to the dimensions of the limb which operates it, it is also necessary to consider the kind of action that the control requires. All controls need some degree of manipulation.

Table 6.2 characteristics of static, columbic, viscous and control resistances Type of Example of Characteristics Advantages resistance incidence Static and 1. On/off switch Resistance is Reduced chances columbic 2. stuck maximal at the of accidental control start of the activation movement but falls considerably with further force (i.e. the control slips) Elastic Spring-loaded Resistances is 1. Kinaesthetic control proportional to cues may be control maximally displacement effective 2. Control returns to null position Viscous Plunger Resistances is 1. Good control proportional to precisionthe velocity of particularly the control rate of movement movement 2. Reduced chance of accidental operation 3. Operator can remove limb and control remains in position Inertia Large crank Resistance is 1. Allows smooth cause by the movement mass the control 2. Reduced chance of accidental operation owing to high force required

Disadvantage Little precision control once the control has begun to move

Because control returns to neutral, operator needs to maintain constant force

1. May cause operator fatigue 2. Does not allow precise movement because of danger of overshooting

FACTORS IMPORTANT IN CONTROL DESIGN Table 6.3 Minimum resistance required for different controls (adapted from Morgan et al., 1963 permission of McGraw-Hill)

Control Hand push-button Foot push-button Toggle switch Rotary selector switch Knob Crank Hand wheel Lever Pedal

Minimum resistance 10 oz (2.8N) 4 lb (17.8N)if foot does not rest on control; 1.25 lb (5.6N) if foot rest on control 10 oz (2.8N) 12 oz (3.3 N) 0-6 oz(0-1.7N) depending on function 2-5 lb (9-22N) depending on size 5 lb (22N) 2 lb(9N) 4 lb (17.8 N) if foot does not rest on control; 10 lb (44.5N) if foot rests on control

For hand controls, therefore, different kinds of manipulative task will require different control dimensions, depending on the part of the hand that is used to operate the control. Most manipulative the tasks can be placed along time a continuum of gripping to non-gripping activities. In gripping activities the fingers and parts of the palm form a closed chain and act in opposition to each other to exert compressive force on the object to be gripped. In non-gripping action the forces are exerted either through all of the hand or through the fingertips in an open chain. As well as the amount to which the fingers are closed, a second manipulative dimension concert the degree of hand /object contact. From such a two-dimensional classification it is possible to determine the anthropometric dimensions required for any particular task, and also the force and torques needed. Some of these dimensions, with examples, are illustrated in figure 6.1. Again, however, when considering the amount of limb/ object contact that needs to be accommodated in relation to the control dimensions, the kind of task being carried out should also be taken into account. Catovic et al. (1989) demonstrated that the posture adopted when operating small hand controls significantly affects the kind of gripping behavior and forces able to be adopted. For example, grip forces were found to be higher in the standing than in the sitting posture, and appropriate handle design (to allow all fingers to be spread during a pinch-closed-chain-grip) enable force up to 50 per cent higher to be applied (with concomitant reductions in fatigue potential) than with just thumb and forefinger grip devices.

Freivalds (1987) provides a comprehensive review of the general principles involved in control design, particularly the design of tools and the Figure 6.1 A classification of hand control functions (adapted from grieve and Pheasant, 1981, reproduced by permission of cambridge University Press) Relationship between handle size and shape and the resultant forces that can be applied. Mital (1991) has also summarized the research relating to tool dimensions for different kinds of grip. Weight

The weight of many controls becomes important only when there is sufficient inertia to cause undue resistance (for example as with a crank handle), otherwise the weight will be supported by the machine it self. However, some controls are used away from a machine (particularly as hand tools) and in these cases the tools weight may obviously play an important part in its effectiveness. As well as the overall tool weight, its weight distribution is an important feature. For example, a rod held in the hand which is an a relaxed, neutral position makes an obtuse angle of approximately 102 degrees to the forearm. Significant deviations from this will cause the wrist muscles to be under static load. If most of the weight is distributed towards the front or the back of the tool so that the wrist needs to work to maintain its natural posture, the static load will soon cause fatigue. The ideal weight distribution, then, will be one which places the maximum weight over the place where the tool is held and maintains the 102 degree angle. Kadefors et al. (1993) describe various techniques available to measure the amount of hand/wrist deviation that occurs from using different kinds of hand tools. Texture Since the control acts the interface of information flowing between the operator and the machine, it might be thought to be an obvious point that the quality of the control action will depend largely on the extent to which the operators limb is able to remain in contact with it. As with many aspect of the working situations, however, ensuring that this occurs is not so simple. For example, it is obvious that the surface of hand-held controls should not be smooth as to cause difficulties in making a firm grip. This is particularly important if the hands are likely to be moist from sweat. In addition, a highly polished surface may cause glare, perhaps adversely affecting the operators performance on a visual task. On the other hand, surfaces that are to be grasped or which may be rubbed against should be free of any abrasive properties (rough surfaces are often contaminated with sand or dirt, etc. and so it is likely that an abraded wound could eventually become infected). A balance must be struck, therefore, between the two extremes and so the question becomes to what extent the control should be textured. Many of these problems are solved by using a non-reflective, rippled coating, but the ripples should not be raised so much that they cause painful pressure spots. When the operator applies a force to a hand control, the direction of the force may act either transversely across the palm, as in the case of a steering wheel, or longitudinally as with a lever. (feet also exert longitudinal forces along a pedal). In both cases the rippled texture described above may help the designer to minimize the possibility of the hand slipping. However, the two kinds of force suggest that the ripples should be at right angles to the likely direction of force. Finally, in relation to hand controls, Kadefors et al. (1993)point out that it is not always an asset to have a very high level of friction between the hand and tool, particularly when the grip needs to be changed frequently as when turning a screwdriver, for example. They also emphasize that in the absence of adequate information concerning optimal friction values, the designer will generally have to resort to subjective methods of assessing the textural suitability of controls.