November 8, 2016

HandsOn

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HandsOn is a game for children between the age of eight and twelve that facilitate rehabilitation for CP (Cerebral Parese or Cerebral Palsy) patients through playful interaction. It concerns specifically physiotherapy of the hand(s) in a mixed reality game, incorporating digital techniques with real-life objects. The hardware is a pre-developed tech-installation using a tripod with a beamer and Kinect.

HandsOn is inspired by a tower defense gameplay mechanism. The player must defend a building against attacking opponents by placing objects in the paths of oncoming enemies, allowing the player to block their way. This is accomplished by using the Kinect 2 sensor, which records physical objects by means of an infrared camera. The player plays the game with physical objects such as a square laying block or cylinders on a table. This is detected by the Kinect and displayed to the player by directly beaming the game onto the table where they place the objects.

The player must rotate, move and slide objects. This enables the player to rehabilitate his or her fine hand and arm motor functions by practising these motions frequently. The player can progress through various levels of difficulty in the game. Sliding is easy, but picking up a block, rotating it and setting it down correctly can be challenging and difficult because this uses several different muscle groups.

The game is played using a technical installation consisting of a large metal tripod. From the middle of this installation a projector and a Kinect hang facing a table. The Kinect records where the physical objects are located and where they are placed. A funny and humurous theme motivates and helps the players to relax and have fun while they gradually train their fine hand coördination and motor skills. Originally a collaboration between the Utrecht School of Arts Innovation Lab (HKU) and Roessingh Research & Development (RRD). GainPlay Studio further developed HandsOn with a special eye for stability and usability, rebuilding the game from the ground up to be an easy to use and understand product for clinicians as well as players.