With Dexterit-E, Kinarm Lab Operators are able to:
- Easily navigate the familiar Windows-based user interface and follow the logical work-flow.
- Store subject data in an anonymized database to ensure data consistency across multiple exam dates.
- Create studies to define task programs and protocols for a particular study ensuring protocol consistency and reduction of data collection errors.
- Calibrate the Kinarm Lab.
- Start collecting data immediately with Kinarm Standard Tests. No programming is required.
- Create novel behavioural protocols using Mathworks’® Simulink® and Stateflow® high level graphical programming tools with some programming experience.
- Run numerous variations of Task Protocols for Custom Tasks by simply editing parameter values in parameter tables. No programming or recompiling of a Custom Task Program is required.
- Monitor subject movement and visual stimuli in the operator screen.
- View 2-D traces of hand trajectories as the task progresses.
- Ensure safety of the subject by stopping the task in Dexterit-E or hitting the Emergency Stop button.
- Generate reports of Kinarm Standard Tests.
- Seamlessly move to Dexterit-E Explorer to view collected data on a trial-by-trial basis.
- Export data for post experiment data analysis in MATLAB.
The following toolboxes are required for Custom Task development: MATLAB®, Simulink®, Stateflow®, MATLAB Coder™, Simulink Real-Time™. See here for a current listing.
Many sources of training are available to ensure you get the most out of your Kinarm Lab.
View our user guides on how to use Dexterit-E and how to Create Custom Task Programs. Subscribers to our annual maintenance program have access to email and phone support. We also offer on-site training and an intensive 1-week KINARM Camp usually in June of each year to enhance Custom Task Programming skills.
We provide two custom computers used to run Dexterit-E
- Dexterit-E runs on a Windows 7 computer.
- Real-Time computer runs a real-time OS called xPC Target.
- Real-time control of experiment is at 4 kHz (with R2015 SP1 and later). Data is saved at either 1 kHz or optionally down-sampled to 200 Hz.
- Presently support MATLAB versions R2013a and R2015 SP1. For further details on required MATLAB toolboxes visit our support page.
Kinarm Labs give users unparalleled flexibility to create the “experiment” you want.
Task Programs are created in MathWork’s Simulink® development environment, a high-level, graphical programming language. Use of Simulink enforces a formalized structure that facilitates error-free implementation of desired behavior. A library of Simulink blocks and ready-to-run demonstration tasks assist with rapid Custom Task Program creation. MathWork’s Stateflow® is the tool used for defining “an event-driven system” or “finite state-machine.” It can be thought of as a flowchart that defines system behaviour.
End-User Customization of Custom Task Programs
Dexterit-E allows operators to create completely custom tasks to suit each end user’s unique needs. There are two layers of task customization provided by Dexterit-E. Each of these layers provides a different level of flexibility and requires a different level of expertise. This dual-level approach allows novice users the flexibility to modify parameters of pre-built tasks without any programming, while simultaneously allowing the experienced user the flexibility to create a completely novel task.
The first layer of customization involves the Task Protocol. Users of Dexterit-E must choose and load a Task Protocol in order to ‘run’ a task. Once loaded, the parameters that make up a Task Protocol can be modified and a new Task Protocol can be saved. Examples of typical Task Protocol parameters include: number, order and randomization of trials, target locations, loading conditions, pause conditions and many others. Specification of a Task Protocol occurs directly within the Dexterit-E user inter face, using parameter tables. No programming is necessary to alter a Task Protocol.
The second layer of customization is more advanced and more powerful: the ability to create and/or customize a Task Program. Task Programs are programs used by Dexterit-E that define and control system behavior during a task. They are created using Simulink® and Stateflow® (from MathWorks) outside of Dexterit-E.
For more information on creating custom Task Programs, please see our support site’s Creating Task Programs page.
There are almost limitless possibilities for the types of Custom Tasks that can be created. Here are some examples:
- Custom Loading conditions, such as:
- Position control
- Viscous and/or curl fields
- Haptic interactions
- Force Channels
- Multiple simultaneous loads (e.g. force-field + perturbation)
- Custom Visualizations, such as:
- Real-time hand feedback
- Dissociation of the visual and mechanical worlds (spatially and/or temporally; e.g. visuomotor rotation task
- Complex visual stimuli, such as moving targets
- Feedback to the subject (e.g. scores, success/fail indicators, graphical indicators)
- Custom Behaviours
- Context dependent feedback (e.g. target location dependent upon subject speed)
- Random selection of times/colours/loads