Enhancing the User"s Experience in an Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space
One of the most significant issues facing amputees leaving rehabilitation units is the loss of connectivity with peers and caregivers. The new Amputee Virtual Environment Support Space (AVESS) being constructed within Second Life is a great resource enabling social networking between returning amputees and caregivers. Emerging haptic devices and sensors could greatly increase the immersive nature of the virtual world and improve non verbal cues capturing emotions, facial features and gestures using non invasive brain control interfaces. In addition the ubiquitous use of new low cost MEMs devices and sensors could enable Occupational and Physical therapists to view range of motion, kinematic and gait mechanics data in real-time monitoring virtual activities. Integrating these emerging haptic devices and sensors could great improve the social connectivity and well being of patients while providing therapists with quantitative assessment of progress even in remote locations. Advanced training regiments could conceivable be performed within virtual games and sport events in future implementations. The team combines expertise in real-time sensor integration, 3D visualization, software development, physical therapy for prosthetic users, occupational therapy and robotics based rehabilitation.
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