Usability assessment of self-propelled windrower: A case study of MacDon windrower

Authors: bashiri, behzad; Mann, Danny; Edet, Uduak
Description: Prototype testing of agricultural machines has typically focused on the structural and/or functional performance of the machine, with limited attention given to its usability. There is growing recognition, however, that machine performance can be maximized when attention is paid to the interaction between the operator and machine. A thorough knowledge of this interaction is required by design engineers if usability is to be considered at the design stage. The objective of this study was to determine whether design engineers from a local agricultural machinery manufacturer possess sufficient understanding of the interaction between the operator and machine that usability can be adequately considered during the design process. The research involved interviews with design engineers followed by in-field observation of machine operators. Comparison of task analysis completed based on interview with design engineers and in-field observation of machine operators, respectively, was performed. The comparison confirmed that design engineers at the local company possess sufficient understanding of the interaction between the operator and machine. Nevertheless, field observations identified an unexpected discrepancy between operator attention to the right and left sides of the machine which warrants further investigation. It was also observed that operators seldom used the information displays during field operation, preferring information derived from environmental cues. Moderate levels of mental workload, measured by the Driving Activity Load Index, were observed which is ideal for machine operators. The level of situational awareness experienced by operators, as measured by the Situation Awareness Rating Technique, was adequate to maintain a high level of performance
Keywords: usability, mental workload, situation awareness, agricultural machines, task analysis
Conference name: CSBE/SCGAB 2017 Annual Conference, Canad Inns Polo Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 6-10 August 2017.
Session name: Poster Session
Publisher: Canadian Society for Bioengineering
Date: 2017-08-07
Publication type:
  • Technical conference
Type: Text.Article
Format: PDF
Identifier: CSBE17007
Coverage: Canada
Language 1: en
Rights: Canadian Society for Bioengineering

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