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Serious Games Conference | Workshops & Games Sessions

Workshop & Game Sessions

Besides the main conference presentations at ICORR, ICREATE & SGC 2015, delegates are also able to attend the workshops and game sessions organised during the same period.

Registered participants would receive a separate email informing them how to sign up for these workshops/sessions.  If you have registered but not receive the email, please send us an email at:

As some of the workshops are conducted concurrently, please ensure that you check the schedule before you register to avoid clashes in your scheduling.  Due to the limited number of seats for these sessions, we appreciate that delegates signing up for each workshop are indeed attending the session(s) they have signed up as seats will be reserved on a first-come-first-served basis.

11 August 2015 Workshops

ETF Workshop 1:
Motor Learning and Neurorehabilitation: Training with or without Errors?

Understanding the underlying mechanisms of motor learning during robotic motor training has been stated as an important tool to improve the efficacy of robotic neurorehabilitation. Although there is an initial body of work that compared the effectiveness of robotic strategies that amplify or reduce movement errors on motor learning, results are still inconclusive. A possible rationale is that studies have searched for the strategy that enhances learning, independently of the subjects’ individual needs and the characteristics of the task to be learned. Some theories have suggested that optimal learning is achieved when the difficulty of the task is appropriate for the individual subject’s level of expertise. Additionally, the specific characteristics of the task to be learned might play an important role on motor learning outcomes. The effect of guidance and its opposite, error amplification, as well as other robotic strategies, such as random-evoked destabilizing forces have been experienced and analyzed by the speakers and other groups. The proposed workshop aims to provide an overview of robotic training strategies that reduce or amplify movement errors, and to encourage discussion on the role of subjects’ initial skill level and the motor task characteristics on the effectiveness of the different robotic training strategies. Finally, the possibility of using these novel strategies in robotic neurorehabilitation will be further discussed.

ETF Workshop 2:
Robot-Assisted Assessment and Therapy of Hand Function

There is a need and potential for complementing and extending conventional rehabilitation with robotic therapy and long-term assistance of hand function. While there have been numerous developments and clinical studies with robot-assisted gait and arm rehabilitation systems over the past two decades, few are those focusing on hand and finger function. This is likely due to the high complexity, small size and anthropometric variability of the hand. Devices to train and assist hand function should address both motor and sensory components, and allow for online assessments of impairment to adjust therapy intensity and the level of assistance to the individual patient. Furthermore, due to the slow recovery of hand function, portable and wearable solutions for assistance and therapy in the home environment must be explored. This workshop therefore aims to:

  • Review neurophysiological mechanisms of hand sensorimotor control and their implications for recovery.
  • Discuss challenges for robot-assisted therapy and assessment of hand function in the clinic and in the home environment.
  • Provide an overview of state-of-the-art (robotic) devices for assessment, therapy and long-term assistance of hand and finger function, and discuss future directions.
  • Present evidence from recent clinical trials.
  • Bring together a group of experts from the different fields of neurorehabilitation

ETF Workshop 3:
Second Workshop on Present and Future of Non-Invasive PNS-Machine Interfaces: Progress in Restoring the Human Functions

This workshop is about human-machine interfaces which connect non-invasively to the peripheral nervous system (PNS-MIs), surface electromyography (sEMG) being the paradigmatic one. sEMG is in use since the 60s to proportionally control single-DoFs hand prostheses. It involves neither surgery nor hospitalisation; it remains rich in information even decades after an amputation; and it provides clearer signals than brain-computer interfaces such as, e.g., electroencephalography. Since then literally dozens different approaches have been applied to sEMG to decode an amputee’s intent, but none of them have as yet made it to the clinics: as a PNS-MI, sEMG has revealed to be unreliable, badly conditioned, subject to change with time, fatigue and sweat. No valid alternatives to sEMG are in sight, and nevertheless, dexterous prosthetic hands are now appearing on the market, demanding ever better control by the patient. How can we bridge this gap? We address two fundamental sub-problems:

  1. (for the engineers) What is wrong with the current approach? Why do clinicians not use it? This includes
    • exploring a better usage of sEMG,
    • alternative, novel interfaces to complement/substitute sEMG,
    • sharing control between the human subject and the prosthesis.
  2. (for the clinicians) How can we correctly assess the effectiveness and realism of a PNS-MI? What tools do we have at our disposal? What is the practical applicability and acceptance of such interfaces?

ETF Workshop 4:
Robotic Systems for Training and Assistance of Walking

The development of robotic devices for training and assistance of walking has been gaining intensity in recent years. This development has been driven by the expectation that robot-assisted gait rehabilitation may reduce the physical load to the therapist during the training, may increase the training intensity, may allow a quantitative assessment of the patient’s performance and may improve a patient’s walking ability. Also, there are expected advantages outside of the rehabilitation field, such as the support of the elderly in performing daily living activities independently in their own homes, and the support of workers in specific working conditions. This increased research and development has led to new challenges in the design and control of robotic systems for walking assistance and rehabilitation. These robotic systems are no longer simply devices to support basic movements, but rather advanced robotic systems that enable, for example training of natural walking through the appropriate degrees of freedom, postural balance control and adaptation to the abilities and physical and psychological state of the human user. In this workshop, different aspects of current research and development, the challenges of the field, and limiting factors in innovative robotic solutions for walking rehabilitation and assistance will be discussed.

ETF Workshop 5:
Decentralized Neurorehabilitation – the Next Step for Technology Intervention

The high demand for neurorehabilitation has stimulated interest in using technology-assisted systems with the intention to decrease the therapist’s workload and to facilitate training with minimal supervision at an affordable cost. Different types of technology-based solutions have been proposed and tested in recent decades which have substantially enhanced our understanding of the neurorehabilitation process. Although many questions still remain unanswered, some general aspects which should be considered while designing technology-assisted systems for rehabilitation are now relatively clear. For-example there has been significant efforts in developing complex robotic devices (assistive-systems) which were arguably motivated by the prospect of administering the role of a therapist in hospitals. Results from related studies have shown that robot-assisted therapy is at least as effective as conventional intensity matched physical therapy. However, intensity of therapy appears to be one of the most important factors that drive this recovery rather than the assistance provided by the robot. Other factors such as feedback, degree of independence, type of therapy modality and motivation of participant during task execution also play a significant role in the rehabilitation process. These results clearly indicate the need to strategically rethink the design process for rehabilitation technology. For instance, the high cost and complexity of most commercially available devices designed for hospital use are not feasible for decentralized use (homes, community centers) where technology intervention is arguably required the most to alleviate the limited financial resources and availability of trained therapists. The focus of this workshop is to discuss the factors and minimum set of necessary features required by robotic and sensor-based systems to help the desired subset of neurological patients. This will allow us to design systems which are more economical, compact and suitable for independent use by patients in decentralized environments (e.g. at patient’s home), and capable of offering opportunities for long term rehabilitation.

ETF Workshop 6:
Affordable Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics for Low Resource Settings and Developing Countries

Non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, are the leading cause of death and disability in the world. An increase in their prevalence often leads to higher incidences of diabetes and stroke and consequently, an increase in the number of persons living with permanent disability due to impairment or amputation. Our long-term goal is to use affordable robotics and assistive technologies to improve the health and function of persons with persistent upper and lower limb disability due to disease or traumatic event occurring in the USA and the developing world. Since access to rehabilitation services and associated rehabilitation technologies may not exist outside of major urban areas and many times are not affordable to low income patients, innovative solutions has potential to augment the delivery of rehabilitation care. This workshop is organized in two parts: Part 1) Focuses on health and rehabilitation capacity in developing countries and discuss the opportunity for technology and Part 2) Focuses on how specific strategies such as the use of assistive devices, telerehabilitation, mobile technologies and robotic technologies can play diverse roles in increasing health and rehabilitation capacity in the developed and developing world. Our learning objectives are to increase awareness on the growing disparities between rehabilitation infrastructure and deployment in developed and developing world and provide a forum for discussing these ideas.

ETF Workshop 7:
Neuromechanics and Technology for the Wrist (beyond the wristwatch)

Most studies on robot-aided rehabilitation of the upper-limb focus on elbow/shoulder joints. Although the loss of wrist motor functions can also be highly disabling, it has received far less attention. There are probably various reasons for this omission, including the anatomical complexity of the joint and contrasting schools of thought on whether, e.g. in stroke patients, it is more beneficial to rehabilitate proximal joints first and distal ones later, or vice versa. From a modelling and anatomical perspective, the wrist joint has 2dof (flexion/extension; abduction/adduction). Functionally, wrist motion is often associated with concurrent forearm pronation-supination. That is, if one considers many manual activities of daily living, the wrist/forearm joint system can perform like a single 3dof joint. Kinematically, this is similar to the oculomotor system where the eye can rotate in 3 dof during visual tracking, but dynamically it is similar to the arm during contact tasks such as writing with a pen or playing table tennis. Given that usually several forearm and arm muscles contribute to the joint rotations of the wrist/forearm complex, and given that many haptic tasks require extensive processing of online proprioceptive and tactile feedback, understanding neural sensorimotor control of the wrist is imperative, if one seeks to design robotic devices that aid or improve human fine motor control in neurological or orthopedic disease.

ETF Workshop 8:
Motivational Patient-Tailored Therapy with Rehabilitation Robots

Rehabilitation robots use intelligent control strategies to support patients, and have shown long-term results comparable to exercise with a therapist. However, both the type and difficulty of rehabilitation exercises must be carefully chosen to achieve maximum benefits. Several algorithms have thus been designed to adapt the exercise difficulty and keep patients from getting bored or frustrated. More advanced algorithms can take patients through different exercises based on their impairments and gradually increase exercise complexity over the course of rehabilitation. Even the best-designed rehabilitation robot, however, is useless if patients do not want to exercise with it. Rehabilitation robots should thus also motivate patients to exercise. This is generally done with virtual environments that incorporate elements such as in-game rewards and cooperation with other patients. An appropriately chosen virtual environment can augment the effects of patient-tailored exercises, leading to better rehabilitation outcome. Unfortunately, though numerous techniques to enhance motivation and adapt therapy have been proposed, they have seen only limited testing, and it is not clear which approaches are effective in rehabilitation. This workshop will bring together experts to present and discuss different approaches to motivation and patient-tailored therapy in motor rehabilitation, leading to a better understanding of how to maximize the effectiveness of rehabilitation robots.

ETF Workshop 9:
Benchmarking Lower Limb Wearable Robots: Towards Practical and Evidence-Based Solutions

Wearable robots (WR) are entering an exciting era. An increasing number of solutions are moving out of the lab, approaching the everyday rehabilitation practice and home-based assistive applications. In this context, the quantitative assessment of the technology is crucial for its correct introduction in the market. Nevertheless, a systematic framework to evaluate the WR technology under all its facets is still lacking. In the framework of the three European projects H2R, Biomot and BALANCE, we are developing a scheme for the definition of specific benchmarks designed to lower limb WR, focused on both the global functional perspective and user-machine interaction. This workshop wants to draw the attention of the WR community on the importance of having a common benchmarking perspective. We believe that reaching an international consensus will be extremely beneficial to boost the process of finding reliable methods to test and compare different rehabilitation systems and identifying robust metrics to measure the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the solutions. With this workshop we bring together different researchers already active in the development of evidence-based evaluation methods and protocols, with the goal of identifying the critical issues in translating these approaches into consented benchmarks.

ETF Workshop F1:
Human-Oriented Approaches for Assistive and Rehabilitation Robotics

Recently, assistive and rehabilitation robotics receive an increasing research interest due to their capabilities in evaluation, augmentation, and their high repeatability. Even though designs have the functionality for desired tasks, many robotic interventions suffer from being effective not only due to the limitation in technology but also the insufficient knowledge about the human. Thus, assistive and rehabilitation robotics research and application require human-oriented approaches since the devices incorporate with humans. Therefore, the consideration of technical and human aspects is crucial and techniques from neural and human sciences should be considered besides engineering methods. The consideration of aspects such as safety, functionality, effectiveness, and acceptance requires the collaboration of disciplines like design, mechatronics, computer science, biomechanics, neuroscience, and psychology. The proposed workshop gathers knowledge from the disciplines mentioned above with respect to human-oriented approaches in assistive and rehabilitation robotics. With that it contributes to revealing goals considering the human and challenges emerging from this. This supports to path the way form a systematic framework that covers human issues in development and operation.

ETF Workshop F2:
Wearable Robotics for Motion Assistance and Rehabilitation – RoboAssist 2015

The population aged 60 and over is expected to rise considerably in the coming years. The rise in life expectancy combined with falling birth rates, will accelerate the ageing of this population. Facing this problem or reducing its effect would have a great societal impact by improving the quality of life and regaining people independence to make them active in society, and live active, fulfilling and independent lives. On the other hand, robotic applications have rapidly expanded from classical industrial applications with repetitive tasks to applications with close human-robot interaction. Indeed, adaptation of healthcare services to the needs of this dependent population will have a great impact on the development of assisting robotic devices. In addition, technological advances and the emergence of novel adapted technologies such as wearable technologies with considerable reduction in size, cost and energy consumption are becoming a privileged solution to provide assistive services to humans. While initially conceived for human motion augmentation purposes, wearable powered robots have been gradually proposed as a technological aid for motion rehabilitation and assistance, and functional substitution in patients suffering from motor disorders. Over these years, despite of the significant technological and scientific advancements achieved in the field of wearable powered robotic technologies, we have not yet witnessed the success of a fully-wearable assistive robot.

12 August 2015 Game Sessions

Game Session 1-1:
Zombie Tooth

Built for the Health Promotion Board of Singapore, Zombie Tooth is a game built on 3DHive to teach K-12 students about oral hygiene. It has been deployed and is widely used in Singapore MOE secondary schools. Set in a post-apocalyptic Singapore zombies infected by bad oral hygiene roam the streets and sewers. The game is separated into three distinct areas or zones, Gum Disease (easy difficulty), Tooth Decay (medium difficulty) and Tooth Trauma (hard difficulty). Each zone has its own narrative and feel to it, pushing the story of the main character and his/her companion. To complete the core objective, the player must survive waves of zombies by curing vulnerable civilians. After the completion of a zone, the player is faced with a boss battle. Furthermore, there is a secondary objective, where players can prevent tooth issues on non-player characters (NPCs). Each zone also has its own mini-games. The difficulty of each zone is defined by the benefits of the rewards generated from the minigames. For example, the hard zone will have the less rewarding elements. Each civilian can be cured from the particular stage by finishing the mini-game, if the player doesn’t succeed, the civilian turns into a zombie.

Game Session 1-2:
Enterprises around the world are experiencing an increased demand for change management training. Change Management, along with qualities such as influencing skills and leading without authority are poised to become expected competencies rather than ad-hoc requirements. “KNOLSKAPE’s ChangeQuest is a dynamic, true-to-life simulation that helps participants bridge the gap between the theory and practice of change management. In the ChangeQuest simulation, the participant(s) have to introduce a massive, transformational change into an organization within a given time period. In order to do this, they have to convince the top managers of the organization using tactics that have the right content, context and timing. Using ChangeQuest, the participants can learn how to:

  • Approach change management strategically
  • Execute change management strategies
  • Drive momentum in the change process
  • Make change stick

14 August 2015 Game Sessions

Game Session 3-1:
MAIN Learn Lab Games

The game session will present some board games from MAIN Learn Lab, a special business unit from Kummara that focus implementing game and gamification concept for the corporate learning environment. The participants will have unique opportunity to try some games that we design specifically to support the corporate learning process. We invite you to try our MAIN (Meaningful, Authentic, and Interactive) approach that has capability to deliver effective learning process on the following subjects: effective communication, teamwork, team engagement strategic thinking/planning; creative thinking; basic marketing concept; persuasion-negotiation, and data-driven decision making. Kummara through MAIN Learn Lab has served various companies in Indonesia and help them transform their learning environment.

Game Session 3-2
Layering Students’ Learning for Geography Education through Game-based pedagogy: The Educators’ and Researcher’s Perspectives

The Geography teachers of Catholic High will share their experience designing a non-digital educational game-based approach. The approach uses iterative co-design to develop a game and accompanying curricula to teach the topic energy and to engage learners at the lower secondary level.  In particular, it uses the metaphor of layering to frame the design of the constructivist learning approach and to guide how geography content and concepts are integrated into the game and curricula. This 90 min workshop will allow participants to play the educational card game in order to understand how the teachers built and used this card game in their class. In line with the school’s dual-track programme, presenting teachers will also share how the design is differentiated to cater to the students’ needs. Educators who are interested in designing and using games relevant to their own subjects can look forward to gaining some insights into practical game-based approaches at this workshop.