RehabJim: A Third Person Approach To Virtual Reality Biomechanical Rehabilitation

Patient in the CAVE2 interactive with RehabJim. The shadows cast on the ground help the user perceive depth in the 3D environment. - M. Cavallo, EVL

Authors: Cavallo, M.

RehabJim is a Unity3D application developed on behalf of researchers at a major Rehabilitation Institute in order to explore the opportunities that Virtual Reality may offer to biomechanical and neurological rehabilitation. In particular, our work focuses on arm actions performed while standing by patients post-stroke. We leverage a 3D immersive environment, augmented with Kinect interaction. Our approach follows a third person perspective of the patient’s body, and employs two cartoon-style avatars - the patient and their therapist. The user is asked to reach to computer-generated virtual objects with her hands. Our evaluation with users and a domain expert shows that this type of environment leads to an engaging, enjoyable experience that can encourage patients to perform a wide variety of whole-body motions.

Keywords: rehabilitation avatars, virtual worlds, virtual reality, CAVE2™

Date: January 1, 2016

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