Author's School

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Author's Department/Program

Computer Science and Engineering


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Caitlin Kelleher


Persons who have suffered from stroke participate in occupational therapy to help recover occupational functionality, but therapy is expensive and maximal recovery often depends on repetitive, tedious exercises to be done by patients both in therapy sessions and on their own. Often patients do not have the resources or motivation to complete the treatment required to give them the best results. This thesis is presented as part of a larger project in which we aim to enable occupational therapists to use the Looking Glass programming environment to create computer games for their patients that can be played inexpensively and effectively, both inside and outside of therapy sessions. Looking Glass will allow for occupational therapists with little or no programming background to write customized games for their patients. Through using Wii remotes and webcams to track movement and translate it to a computer game, this solution has the potential to provide a more engaging and interesting way for patients to correctly do repetitive movements without needing constant therapist supervision or expensive and complicated equipment. It also can provide highly customizable and adjustable game settings to accommodate for the wide range of impairments that can result from stroke. This thesis presents a study of the needs of occupational therapists and stroke patients who compose the user base of the project and implications for the design, the development of a webcam color tracking system to be used for movement tracking in games, and an application to be used by therapists to assign specific, patient-tailored calibrations and game levels as part of treatments and to track and organize improvement statistics. These are all key components required for the successful development of the overall project.


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