Bigger, faster, better, more!

I know, I know. It's a Russian thing.
When we're about to do something stupid,
we like to catalog the full extent
of our stupidity for future reference.
- S. Ivanova, A Voice in the Wilderness

And just when everything seems to be going so well, someone always asks, "so, what is so special about your work?". For scientists, a simple "it works" does not seem enough, so everyone stomps into the field of metrics sooner or later. Inventing some metrics of your own, while obviously appealing, will just not do. Since words might do you no good either, this is the point where standards come handy. The key idea here is that we are good as long as our system behaves better than previous, similar ones in at least a few in quantifiable aspects.

When one starts to look for standard standards in the wheelchair navigation field, bad news come first: there seems to be no established one to measure wheelchair performance -specially regarding power wheelchair navigation and, more specifically, shared control-. Fortunately, there is a large number of proposals that more or less agree regarding parameters of interest in assisted navigation (e.g. [webster et al, 88]).

Assisted wheelchair navigation is a field where many fields converge, from cognitive sciences to medicine, and all the way through engineering. Consequently, trying to fit all related metrics in the same bin would be like trying to explain feelings with differential equations. Instead of doing so, we will go for a tentative distinction between different categories, which might be more or less correlated, but are simpler to explain separately. Keep in this channel for the categories very soon in a web near you :)


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