A natural user interface to integrate citizen science and physical exercise

Eduardo Palermo, Jeffrey Laut, Oded Nov, Paolo Cappa, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Citizen science enables volunteers to contribute to scientific projects, where massive data collection and analysis are often required. Volunteers participate in citizen science activities online from their homes or in the field and are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here, we investigated the possibility of integrating citizen science tasks within physical exercises envisaged as part of a potential rehabilitation therapy session. The citizen science activity entailed environmental mapping of a polluted body of water using a miniature instrumented boat, which was remotely controlled by the participants through their physical gesture tracked by a low-cost markerless motion capture system. Our findings demonstrate that the natural user interface offers an engaging and effective means for performing environmental monitoring tasks. At the same time, the citizen science activity increases the commitment of the participants, leading to a better motion performance, quantified through an array of objective indices. The study constitutes a first and necessary step toward rehabilitative treatments of the upper limb through citizen science and low-cost markerless optical systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0172587
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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