October 1st, 2009 - Ongoing
Virtual Reality Environment Assisting Recovery from Stroke is a research collaboration between the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, UIC / EVL, and the School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Led by RIC, Bioengineering Nikolay Stoykov project participants Daria Tsoupikova (EVL) and Randy Vick (Art Therapy, SAIC) are aiming to develop technology to facilitate therapeutic training of individuals with hand impairment following stroke.
Investigation of the kinds of techniques and devices best suited to address varying degrees of impairment experienced by stroke survivors is explored. The current focus, following the first phase of Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke (MARS) Development Project D1 is to evaluate a full reach-to-grasp training system. One approach will be to coordinate the pneumatic system with the arm robot and VRROOM, a unique, 3D large-workspace system, which uses a haptics (robotic forces) and graphics (visual display) interface, and developed by Drs. Patton (RIC) and Kenyon (UIC / EVL).
EVL’s Tsoupikova is contributing her expertise in virtual reality and interactive techniques by creating a novel environment inspired by the tale Alice in Wonderland, whereby the virtual host / therapist (March Hare) directs the guest / patient to perform tasks requiring repetitive grasp-and-release and individuated finger movements in the course of interacting with the numerous animated objects in the scene.