Development and evaluation of low cost game-based balance rehabilitation tool using the Microsoft Kinect sensor
The use of the commercial video games as rehabilitation tools, such as the Nintendo WiiFit, has recently gained much interest in the physical therapy arena. Motion tracking controllers such as the Nintendo Wiimote are not sensitive enough to accurately measure performance in all components of balance. Additionally, users can figure out how to "cheat" inaccurate trackers by performing minimal movement (e.g. wrist twisting a Wiimote instead of a full arm swing). Physical rehabilitation requires accurate and appropriate tracking and feedback of performance. To this end, we are developing applications that leverage recent advances in commercial video game technology to provide full-body control of animated virtual characters. A key component of our approach is the use of newly available low cost depth sensing camera technology that provides markerless full-body tracking on a conventional PC. The aim of this research was to develop and assess an interactive game-based rehabilitation tool for balance training of adults with neurological injury.