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Roland Graf’s iGYM: An Interactive and Inclusive Game for Kids With and Without Disabilities

I Gym image
Bryan Kreps par­tic­i­pates in a play test” of iGym. Joseph Xu/​Michigan Engineering 

Pro­fes­sor Roland Graf’s iGYM, an aug­mented real­ity game sys­tem designed to cre­ate an inclu­sive envi­ron­ment for chil­dren to play and exer­cise together, was recently fea­tured in more than 200 media out­lets across the nation includ­ing The New York Times, Hous­ton Chron­i­cle, ABC News, The Seat­tle Times and The Miami Her­ald.

Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan report­ing on the project offers this summary:

The goal of iGYM, an aug­mented real­ity game sys­tem cre­ated by a team of Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan researchers led by Roland Graf, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor at U‑M’s Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, is to cre­ate a truly inclu­sive envi­ron­ment for chil­dren to play and exer­cise together.

The cur­rent imple­men­ta­tion of the sys­tem resem­bles soc­cer — or a life-size game of air hockey — with a court pro­jected on the floor by two ceil­ing-mounted pro­jec­tors and a goal on either side. Upon enter­ing the field, an over­head com­puter vision cam­era detects each player and sur­rounds them with a periper­sonal cir­cle,” which they can use to hit a pro­jected ball or puck toward the other player’s goal. 

Play­ers can expand their cir­cle to kick” the ball by extend­ing their arms, phys­i­cally kick­ing or by press­ing a kick-but­ton” mounted on their body. This sim­ple cir­cle-expand­ing func­tion­al­ity cre­ates an equi­table play expe­ri­ence for kids with mobil­ity dis­abil­i­ties and their peers with­out disabilities.

Inclu­sive Play: U‑M Art Pro­fes­sor Cre­ates Inter­ac­tive Game For Kids With And With­out Dis­abil­i­ties | arts​.umich​.edu