A series of multi-user interactive games to assist hand rehabilitation in post-stroke patients.

Technical Highlights:

Unity, Kinect Skeleton Tracking, Physics-based Interaction, Data Logging, Networking

One of many projects under MARS3: Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury for Reintegration into Society funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) program.

This project collaboration between the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formally the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) explored the use of virtual reality techniques to develop new therapy techniques for upper arm exercise for post-stroke patients.

Using the prototype developed by Prof. Daria Tsoupikova (EVL, UIC) and PhD student Saumya Solanki, I refined the three physics-based games: Ball, Air Painting, and Food Fight. All three of these games used body tracking of a Kinect v1 sensor to track and record the upper body movements of the patient. These games were networked allowing patient to patient or therapist to patient session across the internet. A single player mode was also available. I worked to improve both the physics interaction, networking, and the data logging system used by the therapists to track patient progress.

This system was initially used by patients at the hospital and later deployed in patient's homes.





Thielbar, K.O., Triandafilou, K.M., Barry, A.J., Yuan, N., Nishimoto, A., Johnson, J., Stoykov, M.E., Tsoupikova, D. and Kamper, D.G. 2019. Home-based upper extremity stroke therapy using a multi-user virtual reality environment: a randomized trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 0, 0 (Nov. 2019). DOI:

SIGGRAPH Asia 2016


Tsoupikova, D., Triandafilou, K., Solanki, S., Barry, A., Preuss, F. and Kamper, D. 2016. Real-time diagnostic data in multi-user virtual reality post-stroke therapy. SIGGRAPH ASIA 2016 VR Showcase on - SA ’16 (Macau, 2016), 1–2.