A team of students has won a $100,000 college scholarship as part of the 2011 Siemens Competition, for its work on a bioengineering project that uses the Kinect motion-sensor hardware to help people with leg injuries and ailments.
Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain, students at The George Washington University, used the Xbox 360 Kinect hardware to analyze the walking patterns of amputees and joint replacement patients.
From this, they could gather an accurate outline of how a person's movement linked directly to the treatment that was required to treat injuries, and the results could be used to contribute to prosthesis design.
Sudeep Sarkar, a professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Florida, and a judge of the competition, explained, "This team's project involved the creative reuse of new gaming technology - the Kinect sensor - with advanced computer vision algorithms."
"When further developed, their system could open avenues to bring personalized rehabilitation to the home. This could potentially reduce medical costs, allowing clinicians to monitor a patient's progress from a remote site."
Kinect has been used in a number of medical research situations in the past year. University of Minnesota researchers used Kinect sensors
as an objective way to measure potential disorder symptoms in children, while one Toronto hospital is now using the device to help surgeons manipulate medical images during surgery
without the need for time-wasting clean-up.