From Human Factors for Engineers
Jan Noyes

The reasonable Man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends upon the unreasonable Man.

George Bernard Shaw, 1903

4.1 Introduction

Man has dominated planet Earth for thousands of years, and we have only to look at our environment to see all the things that humans have created. In an ideal world, all the objects used by us should have been designed with this in mind. For example, the tables, the chairs, the lighting in my current surroundings, should all meet my physical and work needs in terms of their design. Not all objects fall into this category, namely, those pieces that have been created to fulfil our aesthetic needs, e.g. objets d'art, paintings, pottery, sculptures, etc. A simple classification, therefore, for objects in the world is that they fall into three categories: those belonging to the natural world about whose design we can do little (although biological advances are now challenging this view), those objects that we create for our aesthetic needs, and those that are developed for us to use. It is the third group that is of interest here. The aim of this chapter is to provide a broad overview of the issues surrounding human factors methods and tools.

In theory, all the objects in the built world should have been carefully designed for the human user. In practice, this is not the case and we are surrounded by poor design. As...

Products & Services
Pressure Sensitive Safety Edges and Safety Bumpers
Pressure-sensitive safety edges and safety bumpers are machine safeguarding devices that sense changes in pressure.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) Services
Computer-aided design (CAD) services assist in the computerized design, three-dimensional (3D) modeling, and printing and drafting of engineering components and assemblies.
Video Cameras
Video cameras record live-action scenes that are available for viewing via a stored or transmitted video feed. This allows the user to create a permanent and detailed chronicle of events. Video cameras record dozens of pictures (or frames) a second that when viewed in succession, clearly distinguish the translation of an object or person over time.
Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM)
Coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are mechanical systems designed to move a measuring probe to determine the coordinates of points on a work piece surface.
CMOS Cameras
Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) cameras use image sensors that operate at lower voltages than charged coupled devices (CCDs), reducing power consumption for portable applications. Each CMOS active pixel sensor cell has its own buffer amplifier, and can be addressed and read individually. 

Topics of Interest

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