REVIEW – May 2020

Integrated modern technology in paediatric neurorehabilitation

Authors: Anneli Kolk

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Cognitive and social communication disorders with low peer acceptance and decreased social support is common in children with acquired brain injury. Innovative technologies for touchscreen facilities (DiamondTouch Tabletop and multi-user multitouch tabletop (MMT) interfaces); virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) environments and social robots have a considerable potential among intervention methods. Today’s technology can be a safe and motivating way of engaging children in social interaction. VR creates a captivating synthetic environment for the user by simulating real-world scenarios. A MMT/VR combination has not been used previously; we have developed a novel technology model- PowerVR at Tartu University Children`s Clinic. Children will practise individually on VR and in pairs on MMT platforms under the guidance of therapists. Future aims comprise development of nonverbal communication tools using Mirror/ Mirror-ball VR therapies. Most attempts of current research are directed to designing of socially assistive robots (SAR). SAR are different from social robots in that they are expected to provide a broad range of services to support daily activities of users. The first version of a companion robot is called RoboChair.