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Title: Control Board Digital Interface Input Devices – Touchscreen, Trackpad, or Mouse?

The authors collaborated with a power utility to evaluate input devices for use in the human system interface (HSI) for a new digital Turbine Control System (TCS) at a nuclear power plant (NPP) undergoing a TCS upgrade. A standalone dynamic software simulation of the new digital TCS and a mobile kiosk were developed to conduct an input device study to evaluate operator preference and input device effectiveness. The TCS software presented the anticipated HSI for the TCS and mimicked (i.e., simulated) the turbine systems’ responses to operator commands. Twenty-four licensed operators from the two nuclear power units participated in the study. Three input devices were tested: a trackpad, mouse, and touchscreen. The subjective feedback from the survey indicates the operators preferred the touchscreen interface. The operators subjectively rated the touchscreen as the fastest and most comfortable input device given the range of tasks they performed during the study, but also noted a lack of accuracy for selecting small targets. The empirical data suggest the mouse input device provides the most consistent performance for screen navigation and manipulating on screen controls. The trackpad input device was both empirically and subjectively found to be the least effective and least desired input device.
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Resource Relation:
Conference: International Symposium on Resilient Cognitive Systems (ResWeek), Philadelphia, 8/18/2015 - 8/20/2015
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
control room modernization; human system interface; input device; mouse; nuclear power plant; touchscreen; trackpad; turbine control system