Students Win $100K for Kinect Bioengineering Project

on December 6, 2011 9:45 AM

Technology has developed by leaps and bounds in the past few years, and how we harness these fleets of new hardware is what makes or breaks their practicality — and popularity. Two George Washington University students decided that Dance Central was not the pinnacle of usefulness for their Kinect. Using the motion-sensor, system, the students developed a bioengineering project for the 2011 Siemens Competition — an event that promotes the initiatives in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math — and walked away with the $100,000 scholarship prize.

Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain used the Xbox 360 Kinect hardware to analyze the walking patterns of amputees and patients who had joints replacements. From the information collected by the Kinect, Liu and Cain discovered how to more effectively treat a recovering patient post-surgery. They also demonstrated that the Kienct’s data contributed to more accurate and comfortable designs for prosthesis.

One of the competitions’ judges hailed the students’ discovery as a “creative reuse of new gaming technology,” and praised the use of the motion-sensor system as a possible path for bettering personalized rehabilitation and reducing medial costs.

The Kinect has been in an increasing number of medical studies this past year, including research into objectively measuring potential disorder systems in children. Talk about ingenious repurposing. From now on you are guaranteed to feel useless every time you pop in the Dance Central.

 /  Features Editor
A High Summoner from the Woods of the North (read: New England), Alexa and her ragtag band of comrades have saved the world from cataclysmic destruction countless times -- you just didn't notice. When she isn't writing or gaming, she enjoys baking, long walks at dusk, and cosplay.