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The Engineering group was developing a rotary tray for a new diagnostic instrument. An 'autoloading concept' was proposed, in which chemistry packs were set down by the operator in a queue, to be inserted by the machine.

The details of these interactions were unclear, and I was asked to investigate.

I first laid out the existing methods of loading and unloading reagent packs, timing cycles, while keeping in mind concepts for the maintenance access. The interaction of each configuration was laid out in wireframes and usecases. Then, 3D and foamcore mockups were built in 1:1 scale.

I discovered that it was possible to eliminate one of the queues and combine them into one, simplifying the experience for the user and lowering the number of components and assemblies. This early concept was adopted in the architecture of the machine, and would be built into a working prototype a few years later.

Reagent Pack Autoloading

UX/Interaction:

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Due to the number of large scale mockups we were building for human factors and ergonomics testing, I devised a tool in the form of a 3D oscar that could be inserted in large virtual assemblies for quick but accurate visual checks.

This Oscar tool combined

1) combined vision,

2) combined working reach, (sitting and standing)

3) for 5th, 50th(male/female), and 95th percentiles.



This common working range 5th,50th,95th Oscar, proved an invaluable time saver for the next few years.

 

 

 

Combined Vision/Working Range for 5th, 50th, 95th Percentiles

Human Factors:

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Biohazard Waste Spill Incidents

in Diagnostic Labs​​

Due to documented incidents of biohazard waste spills during handling of containers in the lab, I was asked to investigate and to offer insight on how to resolve or mitigate those risks.

Other research data was supplemented by the marketing, engineering and the field support/maintenance group, and would lead to a lifting experiment for women.


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Research: 

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Since weight was identified as a main factor in the spilling of biohazardous waste, lifting data was needed towards the 5th percentile range for women. 

Due to the little amount of ergonomic data available for this group, I devised an experiment to gather this data. 

Tests subjects were to simulate the sequence of manually emptying waste containers filled with water. Larger containers took shorter trips while smaller containers took longer trips.

After testing a sample of twenty women and twenty men, it became clear that 5L was a comfortable weight choice for women, while for the men a larger sample would be needed: the data was inconclusive (the macho gene at work?).

 

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Comfortable Lifting & Handling

Data for Women

​​Experiment: 


 

Design & Manufacture:

Armed with better data, concepts were proposed for 5L containers directly aimed at the smaller range of the women's population. 

However, considering the other variables affecting outputs of waste in different labs around the world (volume of tests, test specialization, direct plumbing, typical walk-away) The team agreed that a 7.5L container would be preferable.

This would be a reasonable compromise considering other improvements:

1) a more ergonomic shape,
2) a software update preventing overfilling
3) better ergonomic features
4) and a tray to contain leaking/help lifting,

​The new bulk waste containers became a part of the instrument kit within a few months, and distributed in the field.

From Concept to Prototype

to Use In The Field 

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