Cheap stuff for geeks

Some game equipment might be useful for rehabilitation. Here a few more than the universally known WiiMote, Balance Board, and Kinect (with which I worked years ago - see My Kinect's videos).

Falcon (Novint, Price: $249.95 on official website - here)

The Falcon is a moderately cheap haptic interface, a sort of 3D mouse which allows you to explore virtual 3D environments adding the sense of touch - i.e. it delivers forces to your hand when you touch objects in the virtual world. It is natively compatible with H3DAPI, and it has a very good value/price ratio, with mild forces (up to 10 N) and the main limitation of a relatively small workspace (about 10cm in each dimension).

XIO (Novint, not for sale)

The same company which produces the Falcon has announced years ago this apparently very nice exoskeleton, which unfortunately has not become a product yet.

Neural Impulse Actuator - aka NIA (OCZ Technologies, was 99$, hard to find now)

This is a very simple brain-computer interface (BCI), or almost that. Indeed, the three electrodes of the NIA pick up signals from muscles of the front, of the eye and activity of the frontal cortex. Users learn how to control the production of these signals and can eventually become proficient in playing games without any movement!

P5 Data Glove (Essential Reality, discontinued, available on eBay for about 30£)

This 10 years old data glove features a very interesting IR system for hand tracking, able to provide hand position and orientation in a wide (about 50x50x50 cm) workspace, and five finger flexion. In this video, we have used in the beginning of the SCRIPT project for gesture recognition. I have one, and if you are interested in buying one, I will provide you the contact of a seller.

Blobo (seen on Amazon for 30£)

I personally never tested this - bluetooth connected ball which features an apparently unique design in both the product and its games - I recently got one and I will start to "play" with it!!

Orbotix Sphero and Hollie (about 70£)

I just found about these devices, which I never tested. The first impression is that their are somehow remote controlled vehicles.

Yo!Bot (about 20£)

This is another sort of remote controlled vehicle. I bought a used one for like 6£!!! But the full price should be 20 on ebay. It is a smart piece of engineering for using any recent smartphone(i.e. iPhone or Android doesn't matter), "connected" to the robotic base in a very smart way!

Leap Motion (available on the official website for 79.99$)

I personally have only briefly tested this "Kinect for the fingers". I have to admit that I was not personally impressed, as I retain that there is too much data loss in order to use it for research. However, they certainly can improve it a lot, and I would advice it if you want to experiment new, very innovative ways of interaction with the computer!

Myo (ThalmicLabs, available for pre-order at 159$)

This is a very interesting myoelectric(?) interface which features gesture recognition. It's gonna come out soon, and if you see the video... seems very interesting!!