Shadowing Research

When Sawyer was using the pitchfork, he had similar difficulty as John did with the shovel. When using the pitchfork, he had to hold his hand half way down the handle while he used his forearm to balance the rest of the pitchfork in place. This task was doable with one arm but extremely uncomfortable and hard to control.

Using a drill with one hand was not as difficult. However, when we had Joe remove the current drill bit and replace it with another one was harder than expected when using just one arm. He couldn’t hold the drill down in place in order to twist the front of the drill so that he could lock the drill bit into position. As a result it took him several tries and eventually he gave up.

In this picture, Sid is holding a reciprocating saw. We couldn’t use this tool at Lowe’s for obvious reasons but based on prior experience this saw requires one hand to hold and the other to push down in order to have enough force to easily cut through objects. Without the second arm, one would have to cut at an angle in order to compensate for this, which as a result would be less accurate and have much less power behind the motion.

When Joe was using the tape measure he found it instantly difficult to open. He could not use just one had but rather he had to tuck the tape measure between his legs and then pull the tape measure out. Also, when trying to hold the tape measure out for long distances the tape measure would snap and the tape would no longer be stiff thus having to reel the tape measure back in and start the whole process over again.

Sweeping with the large push broom was manageable but Joe mentioned controlling the broom along with the push and lift action were not easy. The biggest fall off that we noticed was the amount of time sweeping one small section with arm takes when compared to sweeping with both arms.

John struggled with finding a way to plant a stake into the ground. The lack of a second harm meant that he could not balance the stake with his off hand in order to hammer it in with his dominant hand. There is currently a product available for the disabled that helps the user pull stakes from the ground, but currently there is not anything for planting stakes in the ground.

The A-frame ladder had several issues that were more dangerous threats. We were not able to take the ladder out and climb it but we all imagine that not having a second arm would increase the risk of injury. For example, when scaling a ladder one typically uses one arm to climb and one to balance themselves while moving. If any task such as cutting tree limbs, drilling or painting is being done with just one arm on the ladder than it’ll be extremely challenging to both scale the ladder and balance yourself while using your only arm to complete a task.

Our main focus and one of the tools we had the greatest difficulty handling was the wheelbarrow. For starters, Sid struggled to balance the barrow using just one arm, and this was without anything in it. If any mulch or dirt had been filled up inside then he would have fallen over and dumped the pile everywhere. The main issue is that once weight is added to the wheelbarrow the ability to balance it from one side becomes impossible and tipping it over becomes routine.

With one arm, basic tasks such as dumping mulch out of the bag become problematic. For instance, Angus struggled to lift the bag up to where he could control it and decided his best method for dumping mulch would be to hoist the bag on his shoulder and lean over to pour out mulch. Not having a second arm significantly limits your control over the bag and often times wedging the bag between your side and your arm will result in the mulch leaning one way and becoming top-heavy, resulting in dropping the bag.

When Sawyer was using the large cooler, he found it difficult to carry when there was a lot of items in the cooler. Also, when trying to lift the cooler up on a platform Sawyer struggled to get his body in the right position to get the cooler to stay up there. This task would be like lifting the cooler on and off a truck bed or in and out of the trunk of a car.

The first problem we identified when John tried using the shovel for its basic functions was the difficulty with handling it. For instance, scooping requires one hand up near the shaft in order to control the shovel and one hand on the handle for leverage and also for balance. Without the second hand, the added balance and ability to tilt the shovel for power when driving it into the ground are removed.

John had several issues when attempting to split wood with a hatchet using just one arm. Firstly, the ability to control the hatchet and swing down at his desired target was an obvious problem. To add to this, in the instance of splitting wood there would have been an iron peg on the log that also needs balanced. The ability to drive the hatchet down into this peg with enough power and accuracy would prove to be challenge.

The round-up presented another challenge with one hand. The product required the user to not only hold the container but to also pump and spray with an extended handle. Sid struggled to find a way to hold the round-up while attempting to spray and had to set the container down each time he wanted to create pressure by pumping the handle.

When we attempted to use hedge trimmers with one hand the user was extremely limited and could not efficiently cut. The only cutting that could be done with the one hand was when Angus rested the unused handle against his body. However, this was very inaccurate and could not be controlled easily.

When Sawyer was using the water compressor it was difficult for him to keep a steady aim over a long period of time. The handle would seem to het heavier at time went on and something that was a difficult task to begin with slowly became harder over time. He also had trouble when trying to move the water compressor and hold the nozzle at the same. With no way to quickly move the compressor and the nozzle at the same time he had to either find a way to tuck the nozzle away before moving the compressor, which was time consuming or just leave to nozzle on the ground and drag it where ever the compressor went, which would lead to damaging the nozzle.