Volume 13 · Number 2 · Pages 263–265
A Radical Constructivist Approach to the Human-Machine Interface

William Craelius

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Open peer commentary on the article “Applying Radical Constructivism to Machine Learning: A Pilot Study in Assistive Robotics” by Markus Nowak, Claudio Castellini & Carlo Massironi. Upshot: Thousands of projects aimed at improving the functionality of upper-limb prostheses over the decades have failed to significantly advance the field of assistive robotics. Having been unfamiliar with radical constructivism (RC) so far, I want to see how its approach could contribute, particularly for amputees. Perhaps the most profound insight to be gained from RC is that the prosthesis is the machine to be taught by the user to serve her needs, not the other way around.


Craelius W. (2018) A radical constructivist approach to the human-machine interface. Constructivist Foundations 13(2): 263–265. http://constructivist.info/13/2/263

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Castellini C., Artemiadis P., Wininger M., Ajoudani A., Alimusaj M., Bicchi A., Caputo B., Craelius W., Dosen S., Englehart K., Farina D., Gijsberts A., Godfrey S., Hargrove L., Ison M., Kuiken T., Markovic M., Pilarski P., Rupp R. & Scheme E. (2014) Proceedings of the first workshop on peripheral machine interfaces: Going beyond traditional surface electromyography. Frontiers in Neurorobotics 8: 22. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Glasersfeld E. von (2005) Thirty years radical constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 1(1): 9–12. http://constructivist.info/1/1/009
Gorsic M., Cikajlo I., Goljar N. & Novak D. (2017) A multisession evaluation of an adaptive competitive arm rehabilitation game. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation 14: 128. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Kuttuva M., Flint J., Burdea G. & Craelius W. (2005) Manipulation practice for upper-limb amputees using virtual reality. Presence 14: 175–182. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Metzger A. J., Dromerick A. W., Holley R. J., Lum P. S. (2012) Characterization of compensatory trunk movements during prosthetic upper limb reaching tasks. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 93: 2029–2034. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Yungher D. & Craelius W. (2012) Improving fine motor function after brain injury using gesture recognition biofeedback. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology 7(6): 464–468. http: //www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/17483107.2011.650782 ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar

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