University of Delaware OEIP
University of Delaware

Mapping Physical Movements for Input to a Video Game

Technology #ud17-44

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Mark Greenspan
Michele Lobo
Dr. Lobo’s research goals include to design and test assessments, interventions, and rehabilitation devices that maximize early learning and development. She is currently involved in ongoing projects which include the development and testing of user-controlled exoskeletons and the development and testing of wearable technology to allow users to interact and control external events
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Managed By
Johnson Will
Business Development Specialist 3028314794


Clinical physical therapy, especially adapted for home use.


Typically, prescribed physical therapy can be very monotonous and dull. This device allows for children and even adults to be engaged in, and even enjoy their treatment. Mapping physical therapy to a video game is potentially more appealing to many patients, thereby increasing compliance, potentially reducing treatment time and increasing positive outcomes. This technology also allows fine motor tasks, such as clicking a button, to be replaced with large gross motor movements. These movements are calibrated during device training to be those required for the prescribed physical therapy motion, and are tied directly to the input of specific triggers in a game. The calibration procedure allows for trigger adjustment as the patient’s range of motion improves during therapy. Additionally, as a wearable technology, the patient is able to hold other objects (e.g. weights) in their hands while playing.


  • Customizable and scaled by angle for desired movement range 
  • Any desired button/trigger may be replaced by a movement
  • Able to track improvements through time with changes in range of movement
  • No camera or handheld device required
  • Applicable to various different video game consoles and video games
  • Provide input to game without being necessarily in view of monitor 

    Many popular video game consoles are played with movement-censored technology with either a camera or a handheld controller. Our method is a gesture-initiated controller that is wearable, and tied directly to existing commercial video games. It can be accurately configured with simple patient-input to a desired range of motion, and is also hands-free allowing a wide range of movements. Patient improvement and compliance is measured and recorded so both the Physical Therapist and patient can measure improvement in range of motion in the muscle group being exercised. .

    STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT: This technology currently has a prototype.