Posts Tagged Kinect

[ARTICLE] Overcome Acrophobia with the Help of Virtual Reality and Kinect Technology – Full Text PDF

Abstract

There are many people in this world who are feared of high places. In general, there are two types of people: the prior one is people that are afraid of height and the latter one is people who really cannot handle high places (i.e. acrophobia). The purpose of this research is to reduce acrophobia level of people. The methodology which is used in this research is experiment with the help of virtual reality to simulate virtual world of high places environment as the reality in the imagination of the user. The virtual environment helps the sufferer to reduce their fear of height in a safe and controllable environment. This research shows that virtual reality is able to mimic real high places and train the users to overcome their anxiety of high places. With virtual world, the users are able to confront their fear gradually based on the level progression in the virtual world. Thus, it gives the users more experience to handle their fear in the secured environment and gradually decrease their anxiety level of acrophobia.[…]

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Source: Overcome Acrophobia with the Help of Virtual Reality and Kinect Technology

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[Conference paper] Kushkalla: A Web-Based Platform to Improve Functional Movement Rehabilitation – Full Text

Abstract

Telerehabilitation is a growing alternative to traditional face-to-face therapy, which uses technological solutions to cover rehabilitation care in both clinical centers and in-home programs. However, the current telerehabilitation systems are limited to deliver a set of exercise programs for some specific locomotor disability, without including tools that allow a quantitative analysis of the rehabilitation progress, in real-time, as well as the medical condition of patients. This paper presents the design and development of a novel web-based platform, named “Kushkalla”, that allows to perform movement assessment for creating personalized home-based therapy routines, integrating hardware and software tools for a quantitative analysis of locomotor movements based on motion capture, preprocessing, monitoring, visualization, storage and analysis, in real-time. The platform combines two motion capture strategies, the Kinect-based and IMU-based motion capture. In addition, a set of 2D and 3D graphical models, virtual environments, based on WebGL technology, and videoconference module are included to allow the interaction between user and clinician for enhancing the capability of the clinician to direct rehabilitation therapies.

Introduction

According to the World Health Organization, at least 15% of world people could present musculoskeletal disabilities, which present difficulties to access appropriate management even in diagnosis, treatment or follow-up stages. Particularly, it is estimated that between 76% and 85% of disabled people have not accessed to treatment programs in developing countries [17]. Conventionally, when a musculoskeletal disability is diagnosed, a clinical specialist designs a specific functional rehabilitation program, according to the analysis of the strength, flexibility and other biomechanical aspects of the patient; then, a team of therapists is responsible for its execution and follow-up. Both diagnosis and follow-up require quantifying those biomechanical aspects in order to guarantee that the designed program is suitable for the patient. This workflow demands an important number of therapists and technologies, such as strength platforms, to ensure the quality of the rehabilitation program. Additionally, the patient location could be a major obstacle for this purpose. This is the case of some rehabilitation programs to restore functional movements of elderly people, which are constantly suffering locomotor impairment caused by aging. Thus, functional movement rehabilitation programs evaluate the movement patterns from each patient to establish what parts of the human body may be treated. An improper movement pattern or imbalances throughout the human body allow determining postural and motor issues, which are used to develop different rehabilitation programs by the therapist. Therefore, functional movement rehabilitation programs are able to rehabilitate the human body that is weak, tight or unbalance by using a combination of functional movement correction and classic rehabilitation exercises.

Recently, telerehabilitation has emerged as an alternative that allows to perform functional movement rehabilitation activities from the comfort of the patient location, which are monitored by the physician from the specialized medical center [14]. This is possible by the use of the Internet and emerging technologies such as inertial sensors, optical motion capture devices, robots, virtual reality environments, among others [4]. In general, telerehabilitation strategies can be classified as: telepresence-based rehabilitation, which are supported by videoconference tools that allow a continuous communication between patient and physician [3]; robotic-based rehabilitation, which uses autonomous robots or exoskeletons for guiding patient movements [7]; interactive-based rehabilitation, which uses interactive environments for motivating patient to perform exercises while playing [121521] and; rehabilitation based on a precision analysis, which provides movement analysis tools for supporting the physician decisions [11].

This paper describes the design and development of a novel web-based platform that integrates telepresence, interactive environments, and movement analysis tools, for providing the technology to carry out functional movement assessment and to create personalized home-based therapy routines. The proposed Web-based platform was developed on a service-oriented architecture (SOA), a client/server software design approach in which an application consists of software services and software service consumers that are provided between software components through several network communication protocols [16]. It is composed of two main software parts: a client and a cloud server components. Additionally, two applications conform the client component: the patient application, and the physician application. The patient application includes a bimodal human motion capture module that allows to integrate both a wearable inertial sensor system and a depth camera sensor (Kinect); a visualization module provided with a virtual environment with an interactive interface in which patient can see in two 3D avatars how an exercise must be executed and how they execute it; and an assistance module provided with a videoconference tool and videotutorials about the platform. The Physician application includes an exercise visualization module, synchronized with the patient interface, in which real-time patient movements are displayed, and a motion analysis module, which displays graphically the movement measurements generated by the analysis of captured data. Finally, the server component, implemented as a software as a service cloud component that it includes a web-server, a websocket server, a webRTC (web with Real-Time Communications) server, and relational and non-relational databases.

This paper is organized as follows. The next section presents a brief summary of related works. In the Sect. 3 the main hardware/software components of the proposed platform are described. Section 4 presents a preliminary evaluation that shows the reliability of the proposed architecture and finally, Sect. 5 presents the conclusions and discuss the future work.[…]

Continue —>  Kushkalla: A Web-Based Platform to Improve Functional Movement Rehabilitation | SpringerLink

Fig. 1. General framework of Kushkalla: Telerehabilitation platform

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[Abstract] Design and Test of a Closed-Loop FES System for Supporting Function of the Hemiparetic Hand Based on Automatic Detection Using the Microsoft Kinect Sensor

Abstract
This paper describes the design of a FES system automatically controlled in a closed loop using a Microsoft Kinect sensor, for assisting both cylindrical grasping and hand opening. The feasibility of the system was evaluated in real-time in stroke patients with hand function deficits. A hand function exercise was designed in which the subjects performed an arm and hand exercise in sitting position. The subject had to grasp one of two differently sized cylindrical objects and move it forward or backwards in the sagittal plane. This exercise was performed with each cylinder with and without FES support. Results showed that the stroke patients were able to perform up to 29% more successful grasps when they were assisted by FES. Moreover, the hand grasp-and-hold and hold-and-release durations were shorter for the smaller of the two cylinders. FES was appropriately timed in more than 95% of all trials indicating successful closed loop FES control. Future studies should incorporate options for assisting forward reaching in order to target a larger group of stroke patients.

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[Abstract] Motion Rehab AVE 3D: A VR-based exergame for post-stroke rehabilitation

Abstract

Background and objective

Recent researches about games for post-stroke rehabilitation have been increasing, focusing in upper limb, lower limb and balance situations, and showing good experiences and results. With this in mind, this paper presents Motion Rehab AVE 3D, a serious game for post-stroke rehabilitation of patients with mild stroke. The aim is offer a new technology in order to assist the traditional therapy and motivate the patient to execute his/her rehabilitation program, under health professional supervision.

Methods

The game was developed with Unity game engine, supporting Kinect motion sensing input device and display devices like Smart TV 3D and Oculus Rift. It contemplates six activities considering exercises in a tridimensional space: flexion, abduction, shoulder adduction, horizontal shoulder adduction and abduction, elbow extension, wrist extension, knee flexion, and hip flexion and abduction. Motion Rehab AVE 3D also report about hits and errors to the physiotherapist evaluate the patient’s progress.

Results

A pilot study with 10 healthy participants (61–75 years old) tested one of the game levels. They experienced the 3D user interface in third-person. Our initial goal was to map a basic and comfortable setup of equipment in order to adopt later. All the participants (100%) classified the interaction process as interesting and amazing for the age, presenting a good acceptance.

Conclusions

Our evaluation showed that the game could be used as a useful tool to motivate the patients during rehabilitation sessions. Next step is to evaluate its effectiveness for stroke patients, in order to verify if the interface and game exercises contribute into the motor rehabilitation treatment progress.

Source: Motion Rehab AVE 3D: A VR-based exergame for post-stroke rehabilitation – ScienceDirect

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[Abstract] MIT-Skywalker: On the use of a markerless system

Abstract:

This paper describes our efforts to employ the Microsoft Kinect as a low cost vision control system for the MIT-Skywalker, a robotic gait rehabilitation device. The Kinect enables an alternative markerless solution to control the MIT-Skywalker and allows a more user-friendly set-up. A study involving eight healthy subjects and two stroke survivors using the MIT-Skywalker device demonstrates the advantages and challenges of this new proposed approach.

Source: MIT-Skywalker: On the use of a markerless system – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Conference paper] Assistance System for Rehabilitation and Valuation of Motor Skills – Abstract+References

Abstract

This article proposes a non-invasive system to stimulate the rehabilitation of motor skills, both of the upper limbs and lower limbs. The system contemplates two ambiances for human-computer interaction, depending on the type of motor deficiency that the patient possesses, i.e., for patients with chronic injuries, an augmented reality environment is considered, while virtual reality environments are used in people with minor injuries. In the cases mentioned, the interface allows visualizing both the routine of movements performed by the patient and the actual movement executed by him.

This information is relevant for the purpose of

  • (i) stimulating the patient during the execution of rehabilitation, and
  • (ii) evaluation of the movements made so that the therapist can diagnose the progress of the patient’s rehabilitation process.

The visual environment developed for this type of rehabilitation provides a systematic application in which the user first analyzes and generates the necessary movements in order to complete the defined task.

The results show the efficiency of the system generated by the human-computer interaction oriented to the development of motor skills.

References

Source: Assistance System for Rehabilitation and Valuation of Motor Skills | SpringerLink

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[Abstract+References] A Novel Human-Robot Cooperative Method for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation

Abstract

There are a certain number of arm dysfunction patients whose legs could move. Considering the neuronal coupling between arms and legs during locomotion, this paper proposes a novel human-robot cooperative method for upper extremity rehabilitation. Legs motion is considered at the passive rehabilitation training of disabled arm, and its traversed trajectory is represented by the patient trunk motion. A Kinect based vision module, two computers and a WAM robot construct the human-robot cooperative upper extremity rehabilitation system. The vision module is employed to track the position of the subject trunk in horizontal; the WAM robot is used to guide the arm of post-stroke patient to do passive training with the predefined trajectory, and meanwhile the robot follows the patient trunk movement which is tracked by Kinect in real-time. A hierarchical fuzzy control strategy is proposed to improve the position tracking performance and stability of the system, which consists of an external fuzzy dynamic interpolation strategy and an internal fuzzy PD position controller. Four experiments were conducted to test the proposed method and strategy. The experimental results show that the patient felt more natural and comfortable when the human-robot cooperative method was applied; the subject could walk as he/she wished in the visual range of Kinect. The hierarchical fuzzy control strategy performed well in the experiments. This indicates the high potential of the proposed human-robot cooperative method for upper extremity rehabilitation.

Source: A Novel Human-Robot Cooperative Method for Upper Extremity Rehabilitation | SpringerLink

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[ARTICLE] New Approaches to Exciting Exergame-Experiences for People with Motor Function Impairments – Full Text

Abstract:

The work presented here suggests new ways to tackle exergames for physical rehabilitation and to improve the players’ immersion and involvement. The primary (but not exclusive) purpose is to increase the motivation of children and adolescents with severe physical impairments, for doing their required exercises while playing. The proposed gaming environment is based on the Kinect sensor and the Blender Game Engine. A middleware has been implemented that efficiently transmits the data from the sensor to the game. Inside the game, different newly proposed mechanisms have been developed to distinguish pure exercise-gestures from other movements used to control the game (e.g., opening a menu). The main contribution is the amplification of weak movements, which allows the physically impaired to have similar gaming experiences as the average population. To test the feasibility of the proposed methods, four mini-games were implemented and tested by a group of 11 volunteers with different disabilities, most of them bound to a wheelchair. Their performance has also been compared to that of a healthy control group. Results are generally positive and motivating, although there is much to do to improve the functionalities. There is a major demand for applications that help to include disabled people in society and to improve their life conditions. This work will contribute towards providing them with more fun during exercise.

1. Introduction

For a number of years, the possibility of applying serious games for rehabilitation purposes has been thoroughly investigated [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28]. It is often claimed that serious games reduce health system costs and efforts as they enable in-home rehabilitation without loss of medical monitoring, and in so doing provide an additional fun factor for patients [22,23,24]. Multiple reviews have summarized the very powerful contributions and reveal that the systems are generally evaluated as feasible, but no state of general applicability has yet been reached [2,3,5,7,11,13].
Most studies are quite specialised and tend to cover the same groups of largely elderly patients (e.g., stroke and Parkinson’s), which do not constitute a credible target group per se for gaming among the population. In addition, the impression is that the same functionalities are being tested repeatedly, without any evolution. Above all, other groups like children and adolescents with chronic diseases are rarely addressed, even though they are an excellent target group and would probably benefit greatly from using exergames as they need to move like any other child but are mostly limited to performing their exercises with a physiotherapist. This is generally boring, time-consuming and prevents them from playing with friends during this time. If instead they could play games involving physical exercises, without it feeling like rehabilitation, due to proper immersion and motivation, they would possibly need fewer sessions with the therapist, which may in turn improve their social life. Commercially available games would be good enough for many children with physical disabilities, if only they were configurable and adaptive to their potential and needs. Remote controls (RC) are typically not sufficiently configurable (button functions cannot be changed or the RC cannot be used with one hand) and are only made for hands (why not for feet or the mouth?) Some RCs are not sufficiently precise in detection, and so the user ends up tired and loses motivation. Motion capture devices like the Kinect sensor seem to provide better prerequisites for exergaming purposes but feature important limitations too, (e.g., detection of fine movements and rotations) such that the needs of many people are still not be covered by commercial solutions.
However, this is not due to the sensors, but rather the software, which lacks configurability for special needs, such as simple adjustments of level difficulties or the option of playing while seated. For the latter, some Kinect games are available [29], but those are hardly the most liked ones, as has been stated by affected users [30]. Therefore, more complex solutions are required to adapt a game to problems like muscle weaknesses (most games require wide or fast movements), spasticity (“strange” movements are not recognized) or the available limbs (for instance configuring a game to be controlled with the feet for players without full hand use).
To fill these gaps, the authors of the work presented here are pursuing the overall aim (as part of a long-term project) of creating an entertaining exergaming environment for adventure games that immerses the players into a virtual world and makes them forget their physical impairments. Knowledge of the gaming industry is applied to create motivating challenges that the users have to solve, which are sufficiently addictive to make the exercises pass to an unconscious plane. The gaming environment is configurable to the user’s potential and requirements. Challenges will be programmable by a therapist and will also adapt themselves to the players automatically real-time, by observing their fatigue or emotional state (lowering the difficulty or switching to more relaxing exercises when needed)…

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Figure 8. Different scenes while the volunteers were playing. (a) “The Paper-Bird”, (b) “The Ladder”, (c) “The Boat” and (d) “Whack-a-Mole”.

Continue —> Sensors | Free Full-Text | New Approaches to Exciting Exergame-Experiences for People with Motor Function Impairments | HTML

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[Abstract] Kinect V2 as a tool for stroke recovery: Pilot study of motion scale monitoring

Abstract:

This paper investigates Kinect device application during rehabilitation of people with an ischemic stroke. There are many similar application using Kinect as a tool during rehabilitation. This paper is focused on measurement of Kinect’s spatial accuracy and proposition of body states and exercises according to the Motor assessment scale for stroke (MAS). The system observes the whole rehabilitation process and objectively compares ranges of movement during each exercise. Angles between limbs are computed in the skeletal body joints projection to three anatomical planes, which enables a better insight to subject performance. The system is easily implemented with a consumer-grade computer and a low-cost Kinect device. Selected exercises are presented together with the angles evolution, body states recognition and the MAS Scale after the stroke classification.

Source: Kinect V2 as a tool for stroke recovery: Pilot study of motion scale monitoring – IEEE Xplore Document

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[Master’s thesis] Tracking, monitoring and feedback of patient exercises using depth camera technology for home based rehabilitation – ANNA RIDDERSTOLPE – Full Text PDF

Abstract

Neurological and chronic diseases have profound impacts on a person’s life. Rehabilitation is essential in order to maintain and promote maximal level of recovery by pushing the bounds of physical, emotional and cognitive impairments. However, due to the low physical mobility and poor overall condition of many patients, traveling back and forth to doctors, nurses and rehabilitation centers can be exhausting tasks. In this thesis a game-based rehabilitation platform for home usage, supporting stroke and COPD rehabilitation is presented. The main goal is to make rehabilitation more enjoyable, individualized and easily accessible for the patients.

The game-based rehabilitation tool consists of three systems with integrated components: the caregiver’s planning and follow-up system, the patient’s gaming system and the connecting server system. The server back end components allow the storage of patient specific information that can be transmitted between the patient and the caregiver system for planning, monitoring and feedback purposes. The planning and follow-up system is a server system accessed through a web-based front-end, where the caregiver schedules the rehabilitation program adjusted for each individual patient and follow up on the rehabilitation progression. The patient system is the game platform developed in this project, containing 16 different games and three assessment tests. The games are based on specific motion patterns produced in collaboration with rehabilitation specialists. Motion orientation and guidance functions is implemented specifically for each exercise to provide feedback to the user of the performed motion and to ensure proper execution of the desired motion pattern.

The developed system has been tested by several people and with three real patients. The participants feedback supported the use of the game-based platform for rehabilitation as an entertaining alternative for rehabilitation at home. Further implementation work and evaluation with real patients are necessary before the product can be used for commercial purpose.

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