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

December 20, 2019

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

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

Bryan Kreps participates in a “play test” of iGym. Joseph Xu/Michigan Engineering