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Using A Video Game To Help Kids Walk

There’s nothing wrong with using game consoles to just play games, but it’s amazing what people can do with them with a little… no, a LOT of ingenuity. This, for example: Some mechanical engineering students and game designers at Rice University, working in conjunction with Shriners Hospital for Children- Houston’s Motion Analysis Laboratory, have taken a bunch of Wii Balance boards and created a system to help children with certain disabilities — cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations — to walk. They used a series of five Wii Balance boards, some handrails, a computer, and some game software that has the kids battle monsters with their steps, and the result is the Equiliberator, a game system that’s theraputic as well as fun:

The game increases the challenge as patients improve, and they’re looking at adding feedback from the handrails into the game to penalize relying on them too much. The whole thing cost less than $2,000 in parts, too.


HT: Medgadget, Hack a Day

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  1. We have a Wii at work and play while walking on treadmills. Max speed is 2.5 mph but it’s fun walk a mile or two and play a few rounds of Mario Kart.

  2. Alberto says:

    I forgot who did this, but some developer head placed an entertainment system in front of his treadmill just so he could play games and at least get some healthy walking or jogging done daily

  3. Joey H says:

    I love seeing things like this. It just goes to show that innovation can happen, especially in the tech world to help those in need.