Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Health Video Games for Chronically Ill Children"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 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) 3D Graphics Modeling and Animation and 2D art asset creation. 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. Students will be expected to assist in the research efforts associated with this project. These duties include but are not limited to: writing, literature review, building a research narrative and data analysis. Publication is a primary goal of this project and students are expected to contribute to any documents produced.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
For the Artist Position: Knowledge of Maya/Max or equivalent 3D modeling package. Photoshop a must. 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