Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Health Video Games for Chronically Ill Children"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
Computer Graphics
Project Description:
For children suffering from cerebral palsy and related motor impairments, the routine of physical therapy is a necessary aspect of treatment but is often repetitive and dull from the child’s perspective thus resulting in lowered treatment compliance and, potentially, further complications. To improve treatment compliance, our team has initiated a game development project to provide a physical therapy video game that is both medically validated and entertaining. The primary innovation of our approach is that the therapy experience is reframed as an entertainment experience. The game that is being created leverages the Microsoft Kinect, a sophisticated digital camera equipped with advanced machine vision capabilities that allows a user to interact with a computer using a near infinite variety of physical hand and body gestures.
Expected Student Contributions:
We have three roles for which we need assistance: 1) Literature review, analysis, writing: The game is being tested at the hospital and feedback from children is ongoing. We need to incorporate that feedback and validate the kids' recommendations against the literature prior to implementing it. 2) Web design and development: The game is part of a larger initiative in which children with chronic illnesses are connected through a social and information network. An attractive, functional website is required for this objective. 3) Programming. We need programmers! Particularly programmers who are familiar with computer graphics techniques.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
For the Lit Review Position: GPA > 3.0, proven skills as a writer of research papers. For the Web Design Position: Good design skills. Having coding skills is preferred but mostly we need an effective, attractive design and layout. For the Programming Position: Preferred C# scripting in Unity experience. Will consider programmers with other language skills. Greatly prefer some experience/education in computer graphics.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?

Professor in Charge

Whittinghill, David
Computer Graphics Technology

Student Supervisor

David Whittinghill
Assistant Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Alan Snell
St. Vincent Health
Kosmas Kayes
Peyton Manning Children's Hospital