טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentBarzilay Ouriel
SubjectAn Adaptive Virtual Biofeedback System
DepartmentDepartment of Mechanical Engineering
Supervisor Professor Alon Wolf
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The purpose of this study is to enhance the methods used in biomechanical rehabilitation by combining virtual reality, artificial intelligence, motion capture and biofeedback instrumentation. In this work, we introduce a virtual system able to produce a physiotherapeutic exercise customized to the patient's pathological state. During training, the subject wears 3D glasses, in which virtual tasks are displayed to him. The subject is then asked to follow the virtual task and match his own movement to it. During task performance, the subject's kinematics and electromyogram (EMG) signals are tracked and recorded by Vicon motion tracking system. This data modifies the real-time feedback provided to the user to improve his accuracy during motor training, and is processed to generate an inverse model of the subject. This model is more inclusive than a standard kinematic or dynamic model and comprises additional behavioral patterns, such as the subject's interpretation of the exercise or his eye-hand coordination. The model is then used to adapt the exercise to the subject, producing a patient-specific task for better neuromuscular rehabilitation.

The knowledge and professional experience of the physiotherapist are also required to diagnose the subject and accordingly conceive the desired neuromuscular performance, which will set the base line for the system to design a virtual exercise. Since the system is trained by the patient's performance and no prior information other than the desired performance is required, the system may be used in a wide range of neuromuscular pathologies. Moreover, the system creates an entertaining environment which stimulates the motivation of the patient and increases by such the efficiency of adult and, especially, pediatric physiotherapy.

Besides physiotherapy, this system may be applied to other fields, such as performance enhancement in sports training, or as an educational tool in any application requiring precise movement and coordination.