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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2008

Martin Langner and David Sanders

Simple and affordable systems are described to assist wheelchair users in steering their wheelchairs across sloping ground. The systems can be attached to many standard…

Abstract

Simple and affordable systems are described to assist wheelchair users in steering their wheelchairs across sloping ground. The systems can be attached to many standard powered wheelchairs. Wheelchairs often steer by having two swivelling caster wheels but problems with this configuration occur when a wheelchair is driven along sloping ground because the casters can swivel in the direction of the slope. Gravity then causes the wheelchair to start an unwanted turn or ‘veer’ and the chair goes in an unintended direction. This situation is exacerbated for switch users, as switches cannot provide fine control to trim and compensate. Early experiments demonstrated that calibrating wheelchair controllers for straight‐line balance and optimising motor‐compensation did not solve this problem. Caster angle was selected to provide feedback to the wheelchair controllers. At the point when veer is first detected, a wheelchair has already begun to alter course and the job of the correction system is to minimise this drift from the desired course. A rolling road was created as an assessment tool and trials with both the test bed and in real situations were conducted to evaluate the new systems. The small swivel detector that was created could be successfully attached to caster swivel bearings. The new system was successful, robust and was not affected by changeable parameters. Although primarily intended for switch users, the methods can be applied to users with proportional controls.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

David Sanders

The purpose of this paper is to develop an electronic solution to effectively lock swivelling wheel steering positions to driver‐control. Simple and affordable systems are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an electronic solution to effectively lock swivelling wheel steering positions to driver‐control. Simple and affordable systems are described to assist forklift users in steering their walkie type forklifts or pallet jacks across sloping ground.

Design/methodology/approach

A rolling road was created as an assessment tool and trials with both the test bed and in real situations were conducted to evaluate the new systems. The small swivel detector that was created could be successfully attached to swivelling wheel swivel bearings.

Findings

The new system was successful, robust and was not affected by changeable parameters. The simple systems assisted hand truck operators in steering their forklifts across sloping ground without veering off course. The systems overcame the problems associated with forklifts that steer using two swivelling wheels and meant that less work was required from hand truck operators as their forklifts tended to travel in the desired direction

Research limitations/implications

Experiments demonstrated that calibrating forklift controllers for straight‐line balance and optimizing motor‐compensation did not solve this problem. Instead, swivelling wheel angle was selected to provide feedback. At the point when veer is first detected, a forklift has already begun to alter course and the job of the correction system is to minimize this drift from the desired course.

Practical implications

The forklifts and pallet jacks often steer by having swivelling wheels but problems with this configuration occur when a forklift is driven along sloping ground because they can swivel in the direction of the slope. Gravity then causes the forklift or pallet jack to start an unwanted turn or “veer” and the vehicle goes in an unintended direction. This situation is exacerbated for vehicles with switch controls, as switches cannot provide fine control to trim and compensate.

Originality/value

Each year in the United States, over 100 employees are killed and 36,000 are seriously injured in accidents involving forklift trucks and pallet carriers. This is the second leading cause of occupational fatalities in “industrial” type workplaces. The research aims to make the use of this type of equipment safer and the systems can be attached to many standard forklifts and pallet jacks.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2010

David A. Sanders, Martin Langner and Giles E. Tewkesbury

The purpose of this paper is to present powered‐wheelchair transducers and systems that provide more control, reduced veer on slopes, and improved energy conservation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present powered‐wheelchair transducers and systems that provide more control, reduced veer on slopes, and improved energy conservation, while reducing effort. They are especially significant for people with movement disorders who lack sufficient hand‐grasp and release ability or sufficient targeting skill to use joysticks.

Design/methodology/approach

Laboratory test rigs are created to test proportional switches and teach potential users. Then, trials are conducted with a rolling road and in real situations. Caster angle‐measurement is selected to provide feedback to minimize drift away from a chosen course and an electronic solution was created to match driver control to caster‐steering‐position. A case study is described as an example.

Findings

Results and advantages are presented from changing from using a set of digital‐switches to a set of new variable‐switches and then adding a sensor system to prevent veer on slopes. Systems have been tested for nearly two years and shown to assist powered‐wheelchair‐users with poor targeting skills.

Research limitations/implications

The research used wheelchairs with caster‐wheels but the systems could easily be used on other wheelchairs.

Practical implications

Simple input‐devices are presented that isolate gross motor function and are tolerant to involuntary movements (proportional‐switches). A sensor system is presented that assists users in steering across sloping or uneven ground.

Originality/value

Proportional‐switches and sensors are shown to reduce veer and provide more control over turn and forward speed and turn radius while reducing frustration and improving energy conservation. The simple and affordable systems could be created and attached to many standard powered‐wheelchairs in many organisations.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1978

O. van der Veer and J.P. Kooger

For seventy‐five literature searches on food science recorded, in forty or more sources consulted (primarily abstract journals and documentation centres) the references…

Abstract

For seventy‐five literature searches on food science recorded, in forty or more sources consulted (primarily abstract journals and documentation centres) the references were found. The searches were done between 1969 and 1975 and comprised 10,764 references. A breakdown was made for six arbitrarily chosen areas of food science: agriculture, microbiology, chemistry, engineering, processing and products. With the aid of discrimination analysis we determined which of the sources need to be consulted in each area if a reasonable degree of exhaustiveness of coverage is to be achieved (∼ 95 per cent of that achieved in our searches). Precious studies indicate the inadequacy of individual sources in food science. Our quantitative study confirms these findings. Of the 10,764 references, as many as 8,737 (81 per cent) were unique to one source. Non‐unique references were seldom cited in more than two or three sources. In all, thirty of the forty‐odd sources are ‘indispensable’ for at least one of the six areas. Although the results are influenced to some extent by the field of interest of our laboratory, it was concluded that reliance on just one or two key sources in the food area is unjustified, irrespective of the search topic. The results may help in the development of future search strategies and in the choice of abstract journals for special libraries.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2016

Bharat Mehra

This chapter presents a cultural re-interpretation of race/ethnicity and sexuality in the American academy from the perspective of a gay man originally from India settled…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter presents a cultural re-interpretation of race/ethnicity and sexuality in the American academy from the perspective of a gay man originally from India settled in the United States for more than 22 years. The reflection is based on experiences in graduate education in the United States during the closing decade of the 20th century.

Methodology/approach

The author employs a personal critical narrative, gaining insights and developing an alternative “voice” of race/ethnicity and sexuality other than what gets reported in the mainstream media and contrary to stereotyped representations. It involved resisting real and/or imagined lapses emerging in Asian-Indian contexts in areas such as ethnic gender role differentiation, heterosexism, improper academic practices, and unethical intellectual property infringement, while at the same time questioning the limitations of American gay white hegemonic dictates in a journey of self-discovery and self-growth.

Findings

The chapter identifies select strategies in the provision of information services that, had they been available during the author’s graduate education, would have better addressed (and supported) efforts to deconstruct and understand perceptions of unjust/prejudiced behaviors. The insights are meant to provide future directions to both individuals and institutions that are coping with similar needs, situations, and perceptions of people who are stuck between a rock and hard place owing to intersections in their multiple (and seemingly conflicting) identities (e.g., based on race/ethnicity and sexuality). The chapter calls for a more inclusive understanding of diversity-information-leadership intersections to better respond to the needs of such marginalized individuals and communities.

Details

Celebrating the James Partridge Award: Essays Toward the Development of a More Diverse, Inclusive, and Equitable Field of Library and Information Science
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-933-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2008

Chris Abbott

Abstract

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Deepayan Gope, Prakash Chandra Gope and Aruna Thakur

This paper aims to deal with the study of interaction between multiple cracks in an aluminum alloy under static loading. Self-similar as well as non-self-similar crack…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to deal with the study of interaction between multiple cracks in an aluminum alloy under static loading. Self-similar as well as non-self-similar crack growth has been observed which depends on the relative crack positions defined by crack offset distance and crack tip distance. On the basis of experimental observations, the conditions for crack coalescence, crack shielding, crack interaction, crack initiation, etc. are discussed with respect to crack position parameters. Considering crack tip distance, crack offset distance, crack size and crack inclination with loading axis as input parameter and crack initiation direction as output parameter, an artificial neural network (ANN) model is developed. The model results were then compared with the experimental results. It was observed that the model predicts the crack initiation direction under monotonic loading within a scatter band of ±0.5°.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the experimental observations. Growth studies are made from the growth initiation from two cracks in a rectangular aluminium plate under static loading. The present study is focused on the influence of crack position defined by crack offset distance and crack tip distance on growth direction. In addition to this, ANN has been used to predict crack growth direction in multiple crack geometry under static loading. The predicted results have been compared with the experimental data.

Findings

The influence of the interaction between multiple cracks on crack extension angle greatly depends on the relative position of cracks defined by crack tip distance S, crack offset distance H and crack inclinations with respect to loading direction. The intensity of the crack interaction can be described according to degree of crack extension angle and relative crack position factors. It is also observed that the progress of the outer and inner crack tip direction is different which mainly depends on the relative crack position.

Research limitations/implications

It is limited to static loading only. Under fatigue loading findings may differ.

Practical implications

It is important to investigate the growth behaviour under multiple cracks and also to know the effect of crack statistics on the growth behaviour to estimate the component life. The study also focused on the development of a high quality predictive method.

Originality/value

The results show trends that vary with crack geometry condition and the ANN and empirical solution provides a possible solution to assess crack initiation angle under multiple crack geometry.

Details

International Journal of Structural Integrity, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-9864

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Jagroop Kaur and Jaswinder Singh

Normalization is an important step in all the natural language processing applications that are handling social media text. The text from social media poses a different…

Abstract

Purpose

Normalization is an important step in all the natural language processing applications that are handling social media text. The text from social media poses a different kind of problems that are not present in regular text. Recently, a considerable amount of work has been done in this direction, but mostly in the English language. People who do not speak English code mixed the text with their native language and posted text on social media using the Roman script. This kind of text further aggravates the problem of normalizing. This paper aims to discuss the concept of normalization with respect to code-mixed social media text, and a model has been proposed to normalize such text.

Design/methodology/approach

The system is divided into two phases – candidate generation and most probable sentence selection. Candidate generation task is treated as machine translation task where the Roman text is treated as source language and Gurmukhi text is treated as the target language. Character-based translation system has been proposed to generate candidate tokens. Once candidates are generated, the second phase uses the beam search method for selecting the most probable sentence based on hidden Markov model.

Findings

Character error rate (CER) and bilingual evaluation understudy (BLEU) score are reported. The proposed system has been compared with Akhar software and RB\_R2G system, which are also capable of transliterating Roman text to Gurmukhi. The performance of the system outperforms Akhar software. The CER and BLEU scores are 0.268121 and 0.6807939, respectively, for ill-formed text.

Research limitations/implications

It was observed that the system produces dialectical variations of a word or the word with minor errors like diacritic missing. Spell checker can improve the output of the system by correcting these minor errors. Extensive experimentation is needed for optimizing language identifier, which will further help in improving the output. The language model also seeks further exploration. Inclusion of wider context, particularly from social media text, is an important area that deserves further investigation.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this study are: (1) development of parallel dataset containing Roman and Gurmukhi text; (2) development of dataset annotated with language tag; (3) development of the normalizing system, which is first of its kind and proposes translation based solution for normalizing noisy social media text from Roman to Gurmukhi. It can be extended for any pair of scripts. (4) The proposed system can be used for better analysis of social media text. Theoretically, our study helps in better understanding of text normalization in social media context and opens the doors for further research in multilingual social media text normalization.

Originality/value

Existing research work focus on normalizing monolingual text. This study contributes towards the development of a normalization system for multilingual text.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1960

THE several hundred members who heard the thought‐provoking addresses delivered at the Harrogate conference of the British Institute of Management recently must have…

Abstract

THE several hundred members who heard the thought‐provoking addresses delivered at the Harrogate conference of the British Institute of Management recently must have returned stimulated by much that was said. At the outset the American Ambassador reminded them that the big business tended to suffer from a certain complacency because it thought that operating efficiency could allow it to ignore the whips and spurs of competition, although he did not advocate cutting up the leviathans to nourish a lot of little fish for the sake of seeing them fight. Indeed, he thought the growth of mass markets meant that the creation of business organisations commensurate with catering for them was inevitable.

Details

Work Study, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Pradeep Kumar and Ajai Pratap Singh

The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic review of flexibility, to identify the gaps in theory and to propose a future research agenda.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic review of flexibility, to identify the gaps in theory and to propose a future research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper combines a systematic review and thematic analysis of scholarly articles of flexibility. The articles are analyzed to explicate the dynamics of flexibility in service operations. Thematic analysis was done using NVIVO 10.0 to identify key approaches, trends and future research agenda.

Findings

The review reveals ten different themes that highlight the future research avenues and points out that an integrative framework to assess the field of flexibility, particularly in developing countries, is largely missing in the literature. The study also provides a set of research questions to enhance its explanatory power.

Research limitations/implications

Articles that explicitly mention “flexibility” were only included, however, there may be several unexploited areas regarding the influence of different variables on flexibility. The study is based on the inductive analysis of 650 published articles on flexibility retrieved from the electronic database. The framework proposed in the study is conceptual and requires empirical testing in future research.

Originality/value

The study synthesizes the flexibility literature and contributes to a set of ten distinct themes that extricate the dynamics of flexibility. The study provides a comprehensive review of the relevant articles and identifies the theoretical gaps in the research area of service operations flexibility that can be used by academia and industry for promoting flexibility.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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