BALTIMORE – Four years after Microsoft introduced the innovative Xbox Kinect motion sensor, the Baltimore-based software startup Rehabtics is aiming to use that same technology to revolutionize the physical rehabilitation industry.
Utilizing the same motion-sensing camera that allows users to interact with their Xbox video game system using hand gestures and body motion, a team of biomedical engineers and game designers is currently developing software that facilitates interactive physical rehabilitation from the comfort of a patient’s home.
The software’s game-like interface – based on the Unity game engine – tracks users’ speed and range of movement to generate a variety of statistics that physicians can utilize for therapy.
Customization settings allow users to create a character, pick an environment – ranging from a kitchen to a sports field – and then complete exercises and play games tailored to each individual’s rehabilitation program.
The brainchild of Xiaoxu Kang, the idea for Rehabtics was born during Kang’s tour of a biomedical prosthetics robotics plant while obtaining her master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
At the time, the lab was developing technology which recorded brain signals to control prosthetic arms for amputees.