RESEARCH

Game Development Project

The goal of this research project, funded by NIH, is to develop serious games and physical activities co-played by a socially assistive robot companionbot (Ryan) for improving the quality of life of persons with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Americans suffering from AD cost the nation $236 billion annually with projected annual costs of over $1 trillion by 2050. Successful development of Ryan will improve patient well-being, make caregivers more efficient and effective, and provide significant financial benefits to the healthcare industry, and assist families and caregivers who are looking for ways to better assist older adults with AD.

Exergames (Type I Games)

Flight is our first Type 1 game in which the player will control a flying bird by both moving their arms and leaning forward and back.  The idea of this game is that the player can either explore the landscape and have a relaxing time flying around, or they can search for collectables and wildlife to beat the level.  The idea is by leaning back you go up, leaning forward will move down, while moving one’s shoulder’s arms you can move left or right.

Serious Games (Type II Games)

The Ryan Runs game is intended to challenge player’s sense of spatial awareness and timing.  This game is most designed to mimic what many would consider a “typical game” that has been popular for many years.  The player controls Ryan who is constantly moving to the right, and the player must jump at the right time to collect coins, while avoiding cacti and cliffs.  While most of our other games are more relaxing and can be played at the player’s own pace, this game is hoping to introduce more of a challenge and add more immediacy.

Serious Games (Type II Games)

The Picture Puzzle is a game that allows players to recreate both famous and personal images.  The game starts with the completed image divided up into a small sections which can then be dragged by the player onto the canvas to recreate the whole image.  Right now all images are famous paintings, but our plans in the future will allow people to upload their own images to Ryan, allowing players to play with their own personal photos.   Like other puzzles, this one will also feature a timer so players can keep track of their high score when solving individual paintings.