Design and develop virtual reality games utilising the 'anti‐gravity' arm support for stroke rehabilitation therapy

Fitzhenry, Ryan (2009) Design and develop virtual reality games utilising the 'anti‐gravity' arm support for stroke rehabilitation therapy. [USQ Project]

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Approximately 16,000 Australians each year are left with a disability as a direct consequence of stroke. The number of strokes that occur in Australia each year is increasing, putting a strong reliance on home and community based rehabilitation having an increasing role in the rehabilitation process.
Strokes are caused by a sudden disruption to the flow of blood to parts of the brain. If an artery is blocked, the brain cells (neurons) cannot make enough energy and will eventually stop working.
Stroke affects patients in a number of different ways depending on the severity of the stroke and the type of stroke in which the patient suffers from. There two main types of disabilities that are a result of stroke: hemiplegia and hemiparesis.
The project aims to develop a virtual reality application to assist in the rehabilitation of the upper extremities of stoke patients who suffer from hemiparesis. The project will endeavour to design a low cost, home based system that will motivate patients by creating intermediate goals that can be adopted into the rehabilitation process. The project will utilise the 'anti‐gravity' arm support system to lessen the affect of reduced muscle strength and control.
The project objectives are to:
- Research relevant background information on the effects of stroke.
- Research traditional methods of stroke rehabilitation and assessment of rehabilitation progression.
- Implement hardware and program for position data acquisition.
- Develop virtual reality application for exercise and rehabilitation assessment.
The project is based around detecting the movement or the patients arm and creating a computer representation. This has been performed by monitoring the potentiometers on
the 'anti‐gravity' arm support utilizing the PIC AXE microcontroller. The microcontroller to converts the signal into a digital integer and transfers them to the computer via a serial link.
The games were designed around conventional physiotherapy exercises allowing the user to complete the exercises in a self motivating environment. The games were developed in both 2D and 3D environments utilizing Microsoft's XNA games studio.
The project has been successful in accurately representing a user's movement within a virtual environment. This has been tested by use of advance 3D mapping techniques;
however the project is still not a stage where it is practical to perform clinical trials.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2010 05:51
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2010 20:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: stroke rehabilitation therapy; arm support; virtual reality games
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110321 Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy)
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0801 Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing > 080111 Virtual Reality and Related Simulation
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420199 Allied health and rehabilitation science not elsewhere classified
46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4607 Graphics, augmented reality and games > 460799 Graphics, augmented reality and games not elsewhere classified

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