The key development of “IMIC” is a specific middleware, named “RehabConnex”. The standard of this technology allows the flexible connection of rehabilitation game environments to a variety of therapy robots or other input devices (e.g., color tracking, sensor glove) for a multimodal gameplay. Besides the benefits for a broadened range of rehabilitation scenarios and RehabGame playability, the “RehabConnex” technology yields innovative research questions on the effect of multimodal therapy.
„IMIC“ (Innovative Movement Therapy in Childhood) is a translational research and development project that is specialized in creating a motivating locomotion rehabilitation setting for children with neurological disorders and cognitive limitations in an interdisciplinary context. “IMIC” was founded in 2010 by an interdisciplinary cooperation of movement scientists, neurologists and neuropsychologists (Zurich University Children’s Hospital / Rehab Research Group, Rehabilitation Centre Affoltern a. Albis), game designers (ZHdK Zurich University of the Arts / Specialization in Game Design) and specialists in sensory-motor robotics (ETH Zurich / Sensory-Motor Systems Lab; ETH Zurich and Zurich University / Institute for Neuroinformatics; ETH Zurich / Rehabilitation Engeneering Lab). The project focuses on the expansion of pediatric robot-assisted rehabilitation, which is achieved through the flexible connection of specifically designed RehabGame scenarios to various therapy devices for upper and lower extremities. The project’s key development, the middleware “RehabConnex”, allows the combination of several therapy robots or input devices, or respectively a combination of both to the “IMIC”-RehabGames. “IMIC” makes use of the rehabilitation robots Lokomat® (Hocoma) and ChARMin (ETH Zurich) to function as multimodal „game controllers“, which translate the patient’s physical input into game control parameters. Beside clinical research questions addressing the impact of the developments, “IMIC” focuses on design aspects and technological research and development: Which game-conceptual, audio-visual and technological features must a RehabGame provide in order to maximally motivate young patients in their active participation in therapy as well as to support the therapists?
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