Some children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have not engaged in a habitual exercise routine in their entire childhood lives to date.
Design an experience in which the adolescent users would participate in a bicycling exercise routine, by turning the act of exercise into an interactive video game. This project was made possible as a result of research conducted by the team of Jerry Mendell, MD, director of the Center for Gene Therapy at The Research Institute and collaboration with the Biomedical Engineering team at Nationwide Children's.
The RISI User Experience Team (UET) designed and developed two custom games, in addition to designing and leading the effort to modify an off-the-shelf bicycle to act as a game controller.
The bicycle is designed to be "plug and play," and is attached to the computer, which powers the games via a standard USB interface. The PC that runs the games is a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which proved to be an ideal form-factor for this purpose. Not only is the Surface Pro a moderately powerful PC at its heart, but all auxilliary hardware, such as a monitor and speakers, are also built into the unit. Therefore, the PC could be mounted in front of the child on the bicycle's handlebar, leading to a more portable and immersive experience for the patient.
The UET R&D group learned three major points during this project: