Measuring a person's ability to move in their environment is difficult, because typical tasks conflate willingness to move with ability to move. To examine the effect of this conflation on assessments of upper-extremity range of motion and fatigue, we have developed a sensor-based electronic game board that can direct a subject's movement around a roughly 4-square-foot playing area.
The system can be thought of as touch-sensitive electronic version of the carnival game "whack-a-mole". It uses colored lights to provide motion targets, and measures the speed of the subject in reaching these targets in different areas of the playing surface as well as other motion variables. Both the placement of lights, and their color and relative color-contrast are controlable via software. The system can also provide varying levels of feedback, from none, to full gamification of the experience with sounds and score feedback to encourage maximum effort.
During play, the system maps out the player's speed and range of motion over time, adapting the playing area to the player, and providing a final "topography map" of the player's varying performance over the game surface, as well as how their performance changes over the duration of the game, or between games.
We are in the process of adapting the system to a dual-sensor scheme that will provide separate, simultaneous sensing of both hands, enabling evaluation of the use of both arms in the same assessment, or, differential feedback for each arm.
- Wolfgang Rumpf, PhD