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Master Proposal | Robot-aided Functional Training Game

Master Proposal | Robot-aided Functional Training Game

Robot-aided Functional Training Game —— Development of an interaction system for robot-aided upper limbs functional training from users perspective


Stroke is the second leading cause of death above the age of 60, and the fifth leading cause of death in persons aged 15 to 59. Approximately one-third of the persons surviving a stroke are left with severe disabilities.

About 65% to 85% of persons with a stroke show an initial deficit in the function of the upper extremities. The impairment of the upper limbs is the one that most affects independence.With the impairment of the upper limbs, patients cannot even eat and drink independently. For those patients, basic movements might have to be relearned in order to retrieve independence.

Functional movement training aims to restore a patient’s motor ability via brain plasticity reorganization and muscle activation. By carrying out exercises on a regular basis, the patient can slowly relearn the ability to use the affected parts again. This is a very demanding process that can require hundreds of repeated motions every day to make progress towards recovery.

The traditional functional movement training method is that the rehabilitation therapist conducts hand-to-hand training on a pair of patients, based on the therapist’s manual operation, or using some simple auxiliary equipment to restore the patient the ability of exercise and coordination.

The classic care and treatment of stroke survivors requires a lot of manpower and financial resources. Currently, china is experiencing a shortage of stroke rehabilitation therapist, most patients cannot receive timely and adequate treatment. In western countries, there is also a growing trend of stroke survivors, which lead to growing burden on global health care costs.

Therefore, many research efforts are focused on designing maximally effective and efficient treatment methods. In addition, many new technologies are applied to this field to replace or reduce the human service.

Robotic stroke rehabilitation has received attention for replacing therapists to provide high-intensity repetitive movement therapy with less effort than would be required for traditional methods, because the use of robot-aided therapy can ensure treatment time and measurability.

In the growing field of neuro-rehabilitation, it is recognized that computer games represent powerful tools to increase motivation and active participation during training. Furthermore, computerized training can provide the therapist with quantitative results of the patient’s


Problem Statement

At present, a major criticism of existing gaming scenarios for rehabilitation is that they have been designed primarily by engineers, scientists, and health professionals whose intent is to build and test the overall functionality of specific research-based hardware. Due to the lack of participation of “real users” in the development process, existing technologies are often complained as not easy to use. Current abandonment rates of complex assistive technology which may be as high as 70%.

The main problems are in the following two aspects:

1· Therapist Acceptance

The setting process of the training is complicated. In the system, a large number of configuration functions and games related to treatment are provided, which causes the therapist a lot of time to set up the system. Although the rehabilitation equipment provides hundreds of different training and games, what they do is often to let the patient repeat the game they have done the day before. Although the tasks have been provided, they did not play the best value because of bad user interactions.

A second important barrier is the trusting of the system measurement accuracy and in the willingness to utilize these measurements as the basis for making alterations to patient training programs.Most therapists seldom use the result measured by the system, and still visually observe the training process and measure the ability of patients by self experience. More therapists are accustomed to using scales to assess patients’ functional movement ability, which make it rather difficult for them to correspond the data-based results from the system to functional movement ability in daily life.

2· Patient Acceptance

Most of the stroke patients are elderly, they do not have much experience in using electronic devices or playing computer games, and they are unfamiliar with robots and games. Therefore, most patients in the interview hope that the therapist can accompany and guide them when they play games, even though they have done nothing wrong they always want to search for help.

These games that are effective for therapy require the user to engage in what is known as the mass-practice method and even though it has been proven to produce positive results in terms of motor skill improvement, it often results in a decreased interest in training.


How can an interaction system support the acceptance of game-based robot-aided post stroke function training of upper limbs by focusing more on the experience of users?

Master Thesis
Development of an interaction system for robot-aided upper limbs post stroke functional training from users perspective.


The intention of this project is to develop a new interaction system to ensure user experience when using the robot-aided functional training game. So that the patients can perform the training actively and without help from therapist . The main point is to adopt a user-centered design method to address the needs of users from both functional therapeutic perspectives and motivational perspectives. In discussing the user-centered robot-aided functional training interaction systems, it should be kept in mind that the system in discussion is comprised of mechanical robotic parts, computer interfaces, and functional movement.


To design a system to aid task performance, it is important to enumerate the tasks expected to determine all the different functions that are needed[5]. So that interview and observation will be done to gathers information about the user’s perspective, journey map and persona will be used to analyze the tasks and decomposing the tasks the user habitually performs interacting with a certain product or system into single steps [8].

Since users include elderly people, their familiar scenes and information are different from others. Therefore, a mood board need to be used to find out the information and objects they are used to.

For any practical usage of rehabilitation system in real scenarios, it needs to be developed based on real case and suitable tasks. We will cooperate with therapist, patients and engineers to develop a set of training tasks with a game representation, and test it with patients and normal subjects.

Base on the research above, the touch point will be proposed as well as the development of workflow, information architecture and user scenarios.

The first evaluation will be at the end of ideation phase. Paper prototype, role-play and other possible methods will be used to conduct usability test and A/B test. At end, the system will be test with high-fidelity prototype.


handout.pdf PDF handout.pdf


Studentin: Dingqinquan Ding

Erstprüferin: Prof. Steffi Hußlein

Zweitprüferin: Jiahua Xu

Wann? Di 08. Dezember 2020 | 19:45 Uhr

Wo? Meeting-ID: 993-9423-4075 | Meeting-Passwort: 9Y7kJX

proposal.pdf PDF proposal.pdf

Ein Projekt von


Master Interaktion Design

Art des Projekts



foto: Prof. Steffi Hußlein foto: xu jiahua

Zugehöriger Workspace

20 MID: Master Colloquium I MA Thesis


Wintersemester 2020 / 2021