Title: A variable resistance virtual exercise platform for physiotherapy rehabilitation

Authors: Niels De Ruiter, Sam Nees, Raymond Benjamin, Matthew Nagel, XiaoQi Chen, Marcus King

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. ' Industrial Research Ltd, P.O. Box 20028, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract: Various motion input and sensing methods have been evaluated in designing a home-based physiotherapy rehabilitation system for spinal cord injury patients. The important design factors include: the ability of the system to track motion; a portable system for home use; and a variable level of effort. The ability to vary the resistance to motion is particularly desired so that the device can be |reprogrammed| for different patients and at different stages of physiotherapy. Commercial computer games can be integrated with the purpose built motion input device. The amount of exercise is captured by the vision-based motion tracking system. The design of the rehabilitation system allows adjustable resistance to movement, easy interface to game exercises and patient|s ready access to windows-based tasks. This provides a patient with a home-based virtual exercise platform and stimulating experiences in his/her physiotherapy.

Keywords: virtual exercise; physiotherapy rehabilitation; variable resistance; motion tracking; spinal cord injuries; vision.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISTA.2010.030204

International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications, 2010 Vol.8 No.1/2/3/4, pp.261 - 275

Available online: 11 Dec 2009 *

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