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Linked Wii Balance Boards Help Children Learn Balance Skills - featured May 6th, 2011

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[Image: linkedbalanceboards.JPG]
Photo Credit: Rice University

Can killing monsters help physically-challenged children learn to walk? It can if they're virtual monsters, that are part of a balance-developing system created by engineering and computer game design students from Houston's Rice University. Called the Equiliberator, the system consists of five linked Wii Balance Boards with two pressure-sensitive hand rails running along either side, all of which are linked by Bluetooth to a PC running a custom-designed video game. Children using the setup are able to kill on-screen monsters, by successfully performing exercises that build their balance skills.

The Equiliberator was developed by a group of senior-level students, after the initial challenge was presented to them by an engineer from Shriners Motion Analysis Laboratory. Children aged 6 to 18, challenged with conditions such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida or amputations, are its intended users.

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Tags: News of the Week Vestibular Balance and Coordination Newsletter 6 May 2011