Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Richard A. Foulds

Second Advisor

Sergei Adamovich

Third Advisor

Lisa K. Simone

Abstract

The primary objective of this work is to design a recreational rehabilitation videogame platform for customizing motivating games that interactively encourage purposeful upper extremity gross motor movements. Virtual reality (VR) technology is a popular application for rehabilitation therapies but there is a constant need for more accessible and affordable systems. We have developed a recreational VR game platform can be used as an independent therapy supplement without laboratory equipment and is inexpensive, motivating, and adaptable. The behaviors and interactive features can be easily modified and customized based on players' limitations or progress.

A real-time method of capturing hand movements using programmed color detection mechanisms to create the simulated virtual environments (VEs) is implemented. Color markers are tracked and simultaneously given coordinates in the VE where the player sees representations of their hands and other interacting objects whose behaviors can be customized and adapted to fit therapeutic objectives and players' interests. After gross motor task repetition and involvement in the adaptable games, mobility of the upper extremities may improve. The videogame platform is expanded and optimized to allow modifications to base inputs and algorithms for object interactions through graphical user interfaces, thus providing the adaptable need in VR rehabilitation.

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