Nicholas Ryan Bonaker

Nicholas Ryan Bonaker
MIT EECS | CS+HASS Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Tamara Broderick
Department: EECS
Areas of Research: Human Computer Interaction
Years: 2019-2020
Research Project Title:

Nomon: A Single Switch Interface for Assistive Technology

abstract:Nomon is a novel augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) software for people living with severe motor impairments that limit their interaction with a computer to a single switch, a button press, a puff of air, etc. It is a keyboard software that uses machine learning to adapt to users' ability and allows them to type quickly and accurately. I am conducting a longitudinal study that will follow able-bodied individuals as they learn to use Nomon with a switch designed for people with severe motor-impairments. We will collect data on text entry and error metrics (characters per minute, presses per character, etc.) over time and compare Nomon to a common type of AAC keyboard called a row column scanner. We hope to determine how well Nomon works as a method of communication for the severely motor impaired.

"I have worked on Nomon for the past year through UROP. I overhauled the code-base, designed a new graphic user interface, and developed a simulation framework to tune and optimize settings in the software. I think this experience will provide a great background in research as I perform the first comprehensive study of Nomon and how it performs relative to current AAC software. I am excited to see our software in action and perhaps make a difference by helping people living with severe motor impairments communicate more effectively."