Interactive Media Systems, TU Vienna

Assessing the Sensory Functionality of Children using Depth Data: Development of a reproducible and stable Test for Measuring the Kinaesthesia of Children (with ASD)

Thesis by Johannes Hartl

Supervision by Hannes Kaufmann and Christian Schönauer

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder that often in-volves sensory and motor problems. A sense that has not yet been well studied is pro-prioception, the sense of joint motion and joint position, which is the basis for motor planning and purposeful action. This sense can be tested with a repositioning test where the subjects have to move their limbs until they believe a certain reference angle is reached. Existing systems using exoskeleton robotic arms are limited regarding the measureable parameters and their usability in everyday clinical practice. In this thesis I will present the design and implementation of a new method to measure proprioceptive functions of children with ASD. An RGB-D sensor is used to deliver the depth data that are transferred to a PC and analyzed with the application I developed. The system will be used for a reproducible and stable test for non-intrusively assessing the kinesthesia of children, where the children only have to stand in front of the sensor without any constraining instruments. Since the application works in 3D space, two rota-tion axes for each joint are used. The system was evaluated for reproducibility, stability and accuracy with ten partici-pants. In addition, it was pilot tested with normally developed children for functionality and usability of the system, where the children had to assume different body positions without visual control. The system will be used in a larger study on children with ASD.

Reference

J. Hartl: "Assessing the Sensory Functionality of Children using Depth Data: Development of a reproducible and stable Test for Measuring the Kinaesthesia of Children (with ASD)"; Supervisor: H. Kaufmann, C. Schönauer; 188-2, 2015; final examination: 04-15-2015.

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