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Characterizing the Effects of Adding Virtual and Augmented Reality in Robot-Assisted Training
  • Xupeng Ai ,
  • Victor Santamaria,
  • Sunil K Agrawal
Xupeng Ai

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Victor Santamaria
Sunil K Agrawal

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Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are emerging technologies in rehabilitation and have the potential to be combined with robot-assisted training (RAT). In this study, we investigate the effects of adding VR and AR into sitting posture training involving a robotic Trunk Support Trainer (TruST). Sixty-three healthy subjects were randomly assigned to three groups: physical reality group (PR group), AR group, and VR group. During training, subjects practice multidirectional reach tasks with robotic assistance provided by TruST. Reach targets were real in the PR group but virtual in the AR and VR groups. Training environments were real in the PR and AR groups, but virtual in the VR group. Before and after training, all subjects underwent a functional reach test to measure changes in motor performance, gains in workspace area and postural control flexibility. Additionally, they completed five standard questionnaires assessing presence, immersion, simulator sickness, engagement, and enjoyment. Our results indicate that both VR and AR significantly enhanced the effectiveness of TruST-assisted training. However, the VR group experienced a higher simulator sickness compared to the AR group. This comparative study sheds light on the added value of VR and AR in RAT and should serve as a stepping stone for the development of novel XR-enhanced RAT platforms and paradigms for training.
11 Mar 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
18 Mar 2024Published in TechRxiv