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Housed in the Department of Design and Merchandising, the Human Environmental Factors Lab focuses on functional and social systems as predictors of well-being in older adults. The lab is designed to accelerate the development, validation and adoption of advances in environments and technology for older adults and individuals living with physical and cognitive challenges. Students and faculty perform adaptable, state-of-the-art human factors research, as well as receive support in new pedagogical approaches in order to prepare a new generation of professionals in design, health care and the social sciences. 


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This lab is designed for testing and innovations in engineering, anthropometrics, design and human sciences research. Our interdisciplinary approach addresses questions and challenges facing older Oklahomans and their families through education, research and outreach within the psychological, social, environmental and cultural contexts of their lives. Current research includes a National Institute of Health funded project to develop and test assistive technologies for dementia homecare. Additional student collaborations include developing an automated kitchen cabinet system, which adjusts in height to aid those with limited reach capacity or those who use wheelchairs.


A pre-fabricated modular wall system maximizes the form and function in the approximately 700 sqft. lab, creating a flexible environment which allows for multiple “mock-up” rooms settings and configurations. The lab is currently configured as a one bedroom apartment and includes three major spaces: kitchen/dining area, living room and a bedroom with a half bath. The lab is adjacent to the OSU Mixed Reality lab, opening up innovative collaborative research opportunities using both physical and virtual spaces.
Dr. Emily Roberts

“We are so lucky to have the Human Environmental Factors Lab housed in the College of Education and Human Sciences as it opens up multiple opportunities for collaboration within our newly formed college. To date, the lab has promoted an exciting range of current and future interdisciplinary education and research in human factors design for aging and disability. Future research opportunities for the lab include integration of smart home and assistive technologies and other forms of Gerontechnology, the devices or systems such as artificial intelligence and robotics which will enable older adults and other vulnerable populations greater opportunities for increased autonomy in the home/care environment.”

- Emily Roberts
Associate Professor, Design and Merchandising


Dr. Emily Roberts Associate ProfessorHuman Environmental Factors Lab437 Nancy Randolph
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