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Xbox for Stroke Rehabilitation

samzenpus posted about 8 years ago | from the play-your-way-to-a-healthier-you dept.


An anonymous reader writes "Using an Xbox modified to run Linux, researchers have developed virtual reality hand exercises for rehabilitating stroke patients. An inexpensive glove controller is used to interact with the Xbox. The hardware cost is a tenth of a comparable commercial hand rehabilitation system, leading to the possibility of deployment in patients' homes."

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yewah (0, Flamebait)

tacolicker (924348) | about 8 years ago | (#16057697)

only jews need rehab

Re:yewah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058149)

Using an Xbox modified to run Linux

This is illegal! I demand these "researchers" not to use my tax-payer-money for such un-American hardware-abuse. Don't you know theat the good American companies lose money with every console retrofitted to run the LUNIX-operative system?

Re:yewah (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#16058699)

Plus if they try to use xbox live they'll be banned from every game (including halo 2) and lose their gamer tag OldyLikesYoungies013.

1337 (-1, Offtopic)

setzer1411 (1000985) | about 8 years ago | (#16057700)

yo recogido el primero poste usted asno sombreros

Re:1337 (0)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | about 8 years ago | (#16057732)

usted lo falla

Re:1337 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057859)

HA HA! Estoy usando el internet!

Re:1337 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057894)

you mean JA JA!

Cool (-1, Troll)

toejam316 (1000986) | about 8 years ago | (#16057705)

Hah, finally, a use for the paperweight! Man, if this gets noticed by the right people, it could very well help alot of people. Its amazing, some of the stuff people do with things like this.


Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057776)

A GNOME is the best paperweight. It weighs as much as a dummy.

Interesting... (4, Informative)

andrewman327 (635952) | about 8 years ago | (#16057710)

A quick Google search [] shows that there is definitely interest in such a system. By utilizing a redily available asset, they are making it cheap and easy for both patient and developer.

In case you are wondering what exactly the big deal is about stroke rehab, here is a snippit of a government factsheet [] :

In the United States more than 700,000 people suffer a stroke* each year, and approximately two-thirds of these individuals survive and require rehabilitation. The goals of rehabilitation are to help survivors become as independent as possible and to attain the best possible quality of life. Even though rehabilitation does not "cure" stroke in that it does not reverse brain damage, rehabilitation can substantially help people achieve the best possible long-term outcome. What is post-stroke rehabilitation? Rehabilitation helps stroke survivors relearn skills that are lost when part of the brain is damaged. For example, these skills can include coordinating leg movements in order to walk or carrying out the steps involved in any complex activity. Rehabilitation also teaches survivors new ways of performing tasks to circumvent or compensate for any residual disabilities. Patients may need to learn how to bathe and dress using only one hand, or how to communicate effectively when their ability to use language has been compromised. There is a strong consensus among rehabilitation experts that the most important element in any rehabilitation program is carefully directed, well-focused, repetitive practice - the same kind of practice used by all people when they learn a new skill, such as playing the piano or pitching a baseball.

Re:Interesting... (2, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 8 years ago | (#16058057)

A friend of mine who had a stroke has found that they have recovered a certain amount of mobility in their "bad" side by playing Eyetoy games on the PS2. I don't know how much and how quickly, but it's probably worth studying more closely.

Re:Interesting... (2, Interesting)

Scoth (879800) | about 8 years ago | (#16058736)

My dad had a stroke two years ago. It was relatively minor as strokes went, but he still had a lot of coordination problems. His left side was far worse than his right. His recovery process was slow until they let him go home and he got back into trying to racing simulations he loved to play (Grand Prix Legends mostly. Awesome game but a heck of a learning curve). All of a sudden he did hugely better and pretty quickly was driving himself for real again. I mentioned it to the physical therapists but they didn't quite seem to understand. It's a shame, I bet there's plenty of untapped potential there. Whether it's actual video games or just something similar like this Xbox setup.

Re:Interesting... (1)

Skjellifetti (561341) | about 8 years ago | (#16058951)

My wife had a stroke 6 mo. after we were married. She was 22 at the time, so people should not assume that strokes only happen to old folks. One of the effects was that she had trouble manipulating the fingers on her left hand. I set her up with an old game console that her brother had. Having to manipulate a joy stick seemed to help her recovery quite a bit.

Great job... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057712)

... too bad it's a violation of the DMCA.

*shakes head and walks away in shame*

Simple Solution (2, Interesting)

Propaganda13 (312548) | about 8 years ago | (#16057813)

Microsoft lawyer says you're breaking the DMCA and this is how we're going to handle it
1. A small team of software developers will sit down with you and write some rehab software for the XBox 360.
2. Microsoft will donate the software and equivalent number of 360's to hospitals and clinics.
3. We have a big press conference and you tell how Microsoft is helping stroke victims.


We take you to court and do the same thing without you.

Re:Great job... (2, Insightful)

donaldm (919619) | about 8 years ago | (#16057921)

Unfortunately you are right. Microsoft has no chance of making any profit by selling games for this modification it is purely a loss for them and to add insult the software is running under Linux.

If Microsoft takes the developers to court, they could win legally but could end up with a public relations nightmare, so they will most likely ignore it since they do have very deep pockets.

The only thing I can see come of this is Microsoft phases out the Xbox more quickly and this of course is going to get developers and gamers offside and that may play in favour of Nintendo and Sony and since Sony has made some major stuff-ups lately they will need every bit of help they can get. At least the PS2 is still a very viable and profitable console for vendors and consumers alike.

Re:Great job... (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#16058728)

I doubt they'll do anything about it. Look at the popular machinima Red vs Blue [] . They used Bungie's Halo game without permission from Bungie, who is owned by Microsoft. Bungie even let them start selling DVD's for their Red vs Blue series. I bet Microsoft will take the high road and let it be.

Re:Great job... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058910)

>... too bad it's a violation of the DMCA.

Fortunately, if the cromwell BIOS is used, it isn't.

The cromwell BIOS allows linux to boot on the XBOX. It contains exactly ZERO microsoft code. It also does not allow any signed (ie: XBOX/MS) code to boot. Therefore it is not a violation of the DMCA, as no "pirate" games can run and no MS software can run.

XBOXes up to version 1.5 (probably about half of them) do not even require a modchip (which, in a general sense, are DMCA violations) to run different BIOS code. Someone with SMT repair skill can remove the TSOP memory chip, place it in a programmer, and install this BIOS on it, no DMCA violation trickery is required to get the job done.

Of course, no one in their right mind goes through that trouble, but that doesn't mean it is impossible to do...

A powerglove! Its so retro! (2, Funny)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | about 8 years ago | (#16057714)

We're partying like its 1989!

Re:A powerglove! Its so retro! (3, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | about 8 years ago | (#16057744)

I love this idea. Its so bad.

Re:A powerglove! Its so retro! (1)

Greenisus (262784) | about 8 years ago | (#16058665)

I hated the Power Glove so much! First of all, I'm left handed, which meant I could barely control my gestures. On top of that, I was six years old, so my fingers would only go about halfway into the glove.
But I was so determined to use the awesome Power Glove that I would tape pencils to my fingers and run it in the mode where you had to use the directional pad on the top, and your thumb and index finder were the A and B buttons.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057715)

But does it run Li.. oh wait, nevermind.

Why an Xbox? (4, Interesting)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | about 8 years ago | (#16057717)

I don't see what the big deal in using an Xbox for this is. Wouldn't it be easier to just use an old PC with Linux on it?

Re:Why an Xbox? (4, Insightful)

Al Dimond (792444) | about 8 years ago | (#16057740)

I'm guessing they like that all Xboxen have the same exact hardware, whereas all old PCs don't. This way they can just create one Linux image and slap it on all the Xboxen without worrying about differences in hardware compatibility and performance wasting all their time.

Re:Why an Xbox? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057749)

I believe the 1.6 versions (the newest ones) of xbox have a video chip that currently is incompitable with linux.

Re:Why an Xbox? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058130)

Sorry. While your comment might have had something interesting to say, you used the completely immature *oxen to describe a piece of machinery. You are therefore a fucking tool.

Re:Why an Xbox? (1)

Rydia (556444) | about 8 years ago | (#16058579)

They could do the exact same thing by ordering a commodity system from any number of retailers. It would probably cost less, too.

Re:Why an Xbox? (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | about 8 years ago | (#16058913)

I doubt they'd cost less. You can get xBoxes on eBay for less than $100 all day long.

Re:Why an Xbox? (2, Interesting)

RuBLed (995686) | about 8 years ago | (#16057746)

Some speculationis to your question.


1. It is readily available and quite cheap
2. They are all the same specs, so what you develop for 1 xbox would have "almost" the same performance as with all xbox
3. It could be readily plugged into the television set and be unplugged as easily.
4. More glove sales :) (hmmm.. I could already think of some uses for those gloves that this)

Re:Why an Xbox? (1)

rtyall (960518) | about 8 years ago | (#16057795)

I can see the benefit of using an Xbox rather than an old PC. This way, Microsoft can attempt to patent it with a very tenuous link to their production of the Xbox, since it's just a more advanced method of their first hand exercise "CTRL ALT DEL".

(Yes I do realise that MS didn't create it, but then they never invented Conjugated Verbs either....)

Re:Why an Xbox? (2, Informative)

rosscoe (1000032) | about 8 years ago | (#16058359)

One good reason is ease of use. Most stroke patients are elderly, in a lot of cases very elderly. Using a simple device like an xbox with a simple on/off switch will be far easier for them (and any carers) to use than a PC. Stroke patients often have problems remembering as well so the easier you can make it the better. And it's easier from a support point of view, but it would be easier still if it could be released as a proper xbox DVD so that no mods are required. I'm excited about this as my wife had a massive stroke last year and needs all the rehab she can get. This usually requires either lots of expensive kit or lots of visits to a rehab centre (which takes me out of work for a long time), cheap solutions like this one mean I can provide the rehab myself at home in my own time and reduce the cost to our health service.

Re:Why an Xbox? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 8 years ago | (#16058417)

At the time this research project started (I happen to know one of the researchers, she was involved with RUSLUG when I was a grad student at Rutgers), the Xbox 360 was not yet available.

Unlike an old PC which can only be obtained by scrounging, Xboxes were readily available off the shelf. This system was designed to be as cheap as possible.

Unfortunately, like its predecessor in the "economy VR glove" market (the Mattel Power Glove), the VR glove used is no longer available to my knowledge. :(

Re:Why an Xbox? (1)

tsa (15680) | about 8 years ago | (#16058452)

Why not a freakin' Commodore 64? It can do the job just fine.

Re:Why an Xbox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058551)

I remember my friend breaking 2 joysticks in the same weekend playing decathlon on c64... :-)

Wouldn't... (1)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | about 8 years ago | (#16057725)

Wouldn't modding an Xbox to run Linux require a mod-chip, and thus run afoul of the beloved DMCA?

Re:Wouldn't... (5, Informative)

toejam316 (1000986) | about 8 years ago | (#16057762)

Indeed, but, fortunately, it doesn't require a modchip. all it requires is for you to softmod the Xbox, and possibly replace the Harddrive in it (to make it easyer for Linux). Softmodding, for the uninformed, is a exploit in a few games save game systems (Mech assault being one of them), which allows unsigned code to be run. using a hacked save, it runs a linux program and adds Evolution X (a Dashboard replacement) and a few other bits and pieces to the Xbox. Nifty eh?

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

big ben bullet (771673) | about 8 years ago | (#16058063)


You don't need to replace the hard drive... it's got 10Gb stock, and i assume that is more than enough to run the rehab software.

Ohw, and softmodding an xbox to make it run linux doesn't require a dashboard replacement at all!

Re:Wouldn't... (2, Insightful)

D4MO (78537) | about 8 years ago | (#16058163)


Inaccurate, pehaps. Mistakes, possibly. Fear Uncertainty Doubt it was not.

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

big ben bullet (771673) | about 8 years ago | (#16058213)

Well, Frequently Uttered Disinformation :-) ... yeah, i know... my mistake

Re:Wouldn't... (1) (751823) | about 8 years ago | (#16057769)

IIRC, there is a way of doing it without using a modchip. It's on the XBOXLinux wikisite.

Re:Wouldn't... (3, Informative)

Dormann (793586) | about 8 years ago | (#16057791)

It is possible to install Linux on an xbox without a mod chip or even opening the box. It involves loading a "baited" savegame that triggers Intel's infamous buffer overrun and does some reworking of the device's startup files.

However, as best I can recall, the DMCA doesn't care whether you're using a physical chip. It's just the act of circumventing a protection scheme that's illegal. So yes, the DMCA has still been violated.

They could have avoided breaking the law by working on this humanitarian project only after leaving the United States.

Either of these scenarios should make DMCA-loathers smug.

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 8 years ago | (#16057862)

well, then he/she shouldn't go to Europe (or at least any EU country) because it's also illegal here in europe to circumvent a protection scheme....

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

Shemmie (909181) | about 8 years ago | (#16057961)

Antartica is still DMCA-free... I think?

Re:Wouldn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057908)

t involves loading a "baited" savegame that triggers Intel's infamous buffer overrun and does some reworking of the device's startup files.

"Intels infamous overrun"? Since when does Intel make games? And if they did, wouldn't it make more sense to make PC games, rather than Xbox games?

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

keitosama (990483) | about 8 years ago | (#16058340)

Are you joking? The Xbox uses pretty standard PC hardware.

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | about 8 years ago | (#16058083)

It is possible to install Linux on an xbox without a mod chip or even opening the box. It involves loading a "baited" savegame that triggers Intel's infamous buffer overrun and does some reworking of the device's startup files.

How do you get this save game onto your Xbox without opening it up to access the hard drive? Buy a memory card that someone has already preloaded with the save file?

Re:Wouldn't... (1)

spidrw (868429) | about 8 years ago | (#16058525)

You can either buy something called the 'Action Replay' which allows you to load gamesaves onto a memory card from a USB port on your PC (think current-gen Game Genie), or you can get a cheap-o memory slot USB adapter and use any old flash drive to load the save. It's a beautiful thing.

Here I am... (2, Funny)

AHarrison (778175) | about 8 years ago | (#16057735)

Here I am using a mouse like a sucker...

A new twist for the joystick... (1, Funny)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#16057741)

Using an XBox to overcome masturbation problems when Viagra isn't enough.

Re:A new twist for the joystick... (2, Funny)

Tarison (600538) | about 8 years ago | (#16057858)

If ever there was a more fitting signature, I haven't seen it.

Prophylactics (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 8 years ago | (#16057751)

This is a yet another reminder of the importance of preventive measures!

Inhibiting research (4, Interesting)

cryptoluddite (658517) | about 8 years ago | (#16057816)

This is exactly why DRM lockdown is such a bad thing for 'promoting the sciences and useful arts'. For xbox 360 these people would have to buy a sdk and pay licensing fees out the wazoo. It would never happen.

The irony of "free markets" is that the less regulation the worse they perform. Monopolies are crackable DRM.

Re:Inhibiting research (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058004)

Maybe you would like to comment on the fact that the effect of very much regulation is to _create_ monopolies?

Such as;

- extremely high food quality regulation = monopoly for the only company that have the technology/systems to satisfy them and prove it
- awarding a contract for building a road having as a requirement that the company has a comprehensive social awareness policy and dedicated immigrant integration trained HR officers = monopoly/oligopoly for the few/single larger companies with the resources to invest in this at the side of building roads
- state running of utility (electricity, gas) regulation = monopoly for the state
- prohibition of private schools or private hospitals regulation = monopoly for the state
- extremely high clinical testing regulation = oligopoly for companies that can meet those, e.g. making drug creation literally impossible for any starting company.

Am I mistaken in thinking you only have a problem with monopolies if they are in private hands?

I disagree that 'the less regulation the worse they perform', since that would imply that with regulation up the wazoo they would perform spectacularly - and if you truly believe that, I would call you delusional. I can agree that a point in between _full regulation_ and _no regulation_ is optimal, but that takes a bit more discussion than a one-directional knob.

Re:Inhibiting research (1)

blowdart (31458) | about 8 years ago | (#16058256)

Actually, with the release of XNA Express [] the SDK and compiler are free for the XBox 360. There's talk of a fee to enable distribution, but it was low, $99 per year.

Free != Freedom (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058353)

Better to flee that sinking prison ship and download free tools for a free platform.

Re:Inhibiting research (2, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#16058364)

The irony of "free markets" is that the less regulation the worse they perform.

Interesting. As one who has worked in the heavily regulated medical device industry, one of my favorite sayings that I utter frequently (especially when a really good idea gets squashed for "regulatory reasons") is "The more you regulate a business, the worse its products become."

I have a huge number of examples that demonstrate the truth of this statement (don't get me started). Now, that said, I agree that a completely unfettered market breeds a different kind of problem. So what are we to conclude? As in most things, the "sweet spot" is somewhere in the middle. Of course, that means you must be willing to accept mild doses of the "negative" from the two extremes. In return you get to enjoy some of the "positives" of the two extremes. I look at it like balancing your portfolio in investing terms.

Re:Inhibiting research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058641)

The irony of "free markets" is that the less regulation the worse they perform.
The luddite part of your nickname serves you well. How about some real examples?

Re:Inhibiting research (2, Interesting)

vrtladept (674792) | about 8 years ago | (#16058683)

Funny that your DRM example actually proves the opposite. If we didn't have DMCA regulation, copyright, patent, and other "IP" laws then your scenario wouldn't matter, we would just crack the DRM and move on, thus removing the artificial monopoly built by technology.

How to *really* gain acceptance (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057828)

Reading this excerpt from the article:
"In one exercise, a patient attempts to wipe clean four vertical bars of "dirty" pixels that obscure a pleasant image on a computer display."

You've gotta wonder what'd happen if you loaded pr0n images in there. I'd be doing my exercises all... night... long...

Re:How to *really* gain acceptance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058154)

Vertical bars on the screen... not the vertical bar in your pants.

Where do I sign up for a stroke, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057846)

so I can get one of these??
Stroke patients always get the coolest shit, like this [] .

Re:Where do I sign up for a stroke, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058781)

Where do I sign up for a stroke?

At your local swimming pool.

W00t!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057860)

Look what all those Fat Cats and Fat Darrels can do !!!

Long live the Grease Trucks .....

Quite interesting (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 8 years ago | (#16057877)

First, this is not to praise the xbox, but this is clear example where commonly available technology trumps expensive proprietary solutions. As more and more technologies get built into mainstream hardware, we'll see less "special" devices that cost arm and leg, which perform the same function.

Let's also not forget that XBOX is a loss leader though, it shows an inherent weakness in this model: you never know of your clients will go the whole path so you can return your money (will they buy games, will they buy enough games etc.).

It'll be definitely fun if laboratories start abusing PlayStation3 for a parallel FPU computations.. I mean we know most of it is a trick to demonstrate how magically powerful PS3 is.. But imagine if this indeed happens: those scientist won't buy games nor pay monthly fees for online services. They'll just keep stacking PS machines which are bought at a loss from Sony and use them for something completely different.

Re:Quite interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057937)

Folding@home [] is already working on that. Dunno the deal between them and the Big S though. They may suck Stanford a heavy sum for devkits/license I think.

Uh-Oh! (2, Insightful)

NightDragon (732139) | about 8 years ago | (#16057883)

Hey, they could get in big trouble for that! its illegal to run linux on X-box! Those unscroupulus pigs!

Oh, wait... Except that there are big technological advances to be made out there, but researchers all across the USA are scared to death that they are gonna violate a IP law (such as the DCMA) and be whisked to jail, be sued, or worse.

I love the fact that these guys didnt let a little thing like a federal law stop them from inventing a solution that can help millions of people worldwide. They deserve a big kudos.

IP Laws that stifile scientific progress and humanitarian advances? Naw, never!

Why do we have to live in a country where intellectual property and B.S. politics are put before scientific research and advancement?

shame on you, congress.

Come on Slashdot (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 8 years ago | (#16058441)

Come on Slashdot. You know should know that the problem of IP vs, well, nothing is more complex than this. You know that it's a balance to be struck.

I am quite aware of the benefits of this sort of invention, but the hardware was designed by Microsoft to run signed code, and signed code only. This is how the XBox makes money. Microsoft sells the units at a loss, so the only way they make any money with the current price tag is to sign the games for a cut of the profits. Using the hardware without providing Microsoft their profits may not be stealing, but it certainly could be construed as immoral.

Why do we have to live in a country where intellectual property and B.S. politics are put before scientific research and advancement?
It seems so simple to separate IP and research/advancement, but one undeniably helps the other. Maybe these researchers don't expect to patent this invention, or to sell it for profit, but most need the financial inscentive to invent in the first place. Certainly, if the XBox wasn't locked down and protected, it would cost a lot more.

Re:Come on Slashdot (1)

mmdog (34909) | about 8 years ago | (#16058738)

...Using the hardware without providing Microsoft their profits may not be stealing, but it certainly could be construed as immoral.

That is ridiculous. Microsoft sells the Xbox at a loss hoping and expecting that people will buy the games and peripherals at ridiculous markups. That's their business model and they are welcome to try it, but in no way are they entitled to one dime of 'profit' if their business model is flawed. The only thing immoral about the situation is that our politicians allow our laws to be manipulated to make it possible for a company like Microsoft to ensure that selling their product nets them a profit. That's the risk you take in any business, and it disgusts me that our leaders can be bought off by any company to pass laws that eliminate that risk.

I'm betting you either work for MS, are an MS fanboi or you're a lawyer.

thats right... (1)

deathwombat (848460) | about 8 years ago | (#16057885)

using an xbox to recover from the stroke you got from playing the xbox too much....

is there any relation? (2, Interesting)

benplaut (993145) | about 8 years ago | (#16057896)

between strokes and epilectic seizures? If so, this is a very bad idea... regardless, there's nothing special about this... an xbox is just a computer, after all...

Re:is there any relation? (2, Interesting)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | about 8 years ago | (#16057935)

People who have had a stroke have a greater tendancy to have a seizure. It's something like 5% within the first 24 hours (they wouldn't be getting therapy at this point anyway) and 2-3% within the first year. There are plenty of medications that prevent seizures, though, and many stroke patients take a form of these. You also have doctor supervision (remotely in some instances).

Additionally, the patient wouldn't be looking at their screen for long periods of time. Therapy sessions are generally limited to short periods of time... there's no use in long periods of therapy. My wife, who is an occupational therapist, suggested that someone with many hours a day of possible rehab time might only spend an hour or two doing actual rehab, and that time should be broken up into 15-20 minute segments.

Finally, there is something special about this. An Xbox is much more standardized than most computers. The interface for the hardware will be exactly the same on every Xbox, making it easy for therapists and patients to use. Plus it doesn't have to be updated with security patches, virus scanners, etc, so it's more stable than a common desktop computer. It's also cheaper than most computers, coming in around $100-$125 these days.

Some of the equipment my wife uses costs tens of thousands of dollars and wouldn't be as effective as this. I showed her this article and she's excited enough to show all of her therapist friends at the hospital.

Re:is there any relation? (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | about 8 years ago | (#16057943)

I just thought of something else. There's many people that need acute motor rehabilitation in their hands that aren't stroke victims: people that have been in car accidents, have had major surgury, people who are just getting older. The list goes on. Stroke victims are the most obvious candidates since they require a LOT of rehabilitation and there's many of them, but there's plenty of other people that could use this as well. In those instances, seizures wouldn't be an issue at all.

Virtual reality hand excercises? (1)

tuomasr (721846) | about 8 years ago | (#16057907)

Wait, what?

Who can honestly say that they did not immediately think of VR pr0n and ... well ... ahem ... you know...

Re:Virtual reality hand excercises? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058599)

Oh good, give them virtual valerie 3 and not only give them another stroke but RSI.

Why do you hate the elderly :(

obWizard quote (0, Redundant)

Edd (24120) | about 8 years ago | (#16057915)

I love the power glove - it's so bad

Nothing New (2, Funny)

UberGŁber (122601) | about 8 years ago | (#16057928)

Using the XBox and Hot Coffee mod I was able to work on my stroke months ago.

Why I like technological development (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16057938)

There's plenty of debate about the meaning or need of 'taking a society forward'.

I can certainly agree as many says and lots of evidence show, that human happiness is very much relative, and doesn't really increase with material consumption. But if individual stroke victims can have one of these in their home it should be seen as beneficial to humanity regardless.

"hand exercises" (1)

kcbrown (7426) | about 8 years ago | (#16057950)

"Using an Xbox modified to run Linux, researchers have developed virtual reality hand exercises..."

Um, yeah. I guess you have to get the Xbox to run Linux first before you can use it to show your porn, um, I mean "virtual reality environment" in order to do your, um, "hand exercises"...

Re:"hand exercises" (1)

GrievousMistake (880829) | about 8 years ago | (#16058399)

Get your mind out of the gutter..
I mean, RTFA, it just shows dirty pixels. But you wipe them to see pleasant pictures. And fist butterflyes.
Um, that didn't sound right. Anyway, there's no innuendo here. This is a pure and innocent article about helping people with their strokes!

Game therapy (4, Informative)

bm_luethke (253362) | about 8 years ago | (#16057955)

Sometime in the mid 80's I was diagnosed with several "learning disabilities". The only one I still carry to this day is Dyslexia (see my sig). Another one was reaction and hand eye co-ordination.

For the latter the doctor told my parents to get me to play video games. They, at first, purchased me an (expensive at the time - nearly 3000 dollars) 8086. Unfortunatly for me (and thier money - it wasn't until my senior year in high school - '93 - that I became interested in computers) I never really got interested in it and picked up an Atari which I wore out. I've played video games constantly since then - it worked in my case. I'm sure they wished they had just bought the atari to begin with, but where happy I had something that I wanted to use that was also therapy for my problems.

I sometimes wonder if the same treatment would be prescribed today given the current attitude towards games.

The saddest part is that they had to hack the system to do this. I don't really know why they didn't use a PC and one of the free dev kits around - some are quite good (and many of the pay ones are free for research). Maybe they couldn't really find a replacement for the glove, but then it would seem easier to hack it into a joystick port than what they did. Ahh well, at least the research was done.

Re:Game therapy (1)

cilynx (182750) | about 8 years ago | (#16058361)

Actually, the P5 isn't "an Xbox controller". The P5 was designed as a USB PC VR interface. It's been around for close to 10 years and is a pretty well known sales flop. I have one sitting on my bookshelf. I used it once before coming to the conclusion that while it is pretty cool, my custom made FSR glove does a better job for the needs of my rehab lab.

PC is better and reusable (1, Redundant)

News for nerds (448130) | about 8 years ago | (#16058052)

Though it's clear that this project is illegal as long as they use XBox due to DMCA, why not use a cheap PC instead? Maybe 1 Xbox may be cheaper than 1 PC, but you can use the processing power of 1 PC for doing multiple services at the same time. Also hacking Xbox is just a needless addition to personal costs.

But wait (3, Interesting)

webheaded (997188) | about 8 years ago | (#16058076)

Isn't the soft mod exploit legal to install Linux with? What happens you ask? 1. Download gamesave for Mech Assault or another game that has been exploited 2. Open the save in the game of choice 3. Launch Linux Installer While thats obviously a simple run down of what you do, is that actually in violation of anything? You aren't modifying the hardware to run insigned code and crap, you are simply making the game overflow, crash, and then run a BIOS loader which loads a Linux installer. Am I missing something here?

Re:But wait (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 years ago | (#16058245)

Actually it is. You're purposely doing what wasn't meant to be done on the XBox. If you accidently happen to do that, it would be a different thing. But accidently downloading a manipulated savegame, applying it accidently to your box and then accidently slipping in a BIOS loader and a linux installer that just so happened to be there, that's about as easy to explain (and as credible) as the maid that tripped and landed with her head in your crotch.

Re:But wait (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about 8 years ago | (#16058959)

"Actually it is. You're purposely doing what wasn't meant to be done on the XBox."

you know, if everyone just used things only the way they were "meant" to be used, then I suppose that a lot of things we use today would never be around... just take the PC for example, more than just your average typewriter, it now can do so much more than just what it was meant to do by the big whigs who packaged it and patented it, and Linux can be thanked in large part to that.

Yes, you are missing something (2, Informative)

StringBlade (557322) | about 8 years ago | (#16058248)

The act of circumventing the copy protection on the XBox (to get around the Dashboard) is illegal by the DMCA. The DMCA doesn't care if you use software or hardware mechanisms to circumvent (even poor) copy protection. Consider that the DMCA even applies to copy protection on CDs that is activated with Autorun. By holding shift or disabling Autorun you're effectively circumventing that copy protection and therefore violating the DMCA in the strictest sense.

There are a few exceptions as pertain to Fair Use rights, but the DMCA is not like a patent. It cannot be invalidated because the circumvention is "obvious" or "so easy a 3 year-old could do it accidentally". It's a broad, stupid, law written to protect those who couldn't deal with our court system and the existing copyright laws.

Re:Yes, you are missing something (1)

unapersson (38207) | about 8 years ago | (#16058392)

They might still have a hard time with that argument. Is installing something different for a completely different purpose really circumventing copy protection? It's not being used to get access to the content the copy protection is there to protect.

Re:But wait (2, Interesting)

Aladrin (926209) | about 8 years ago | (#16058461)

That like asking 'Isn't it legal to break the law when there's nobody and nothing around to get hurt?' No, it's still not legal. There is no 'I didn't do it to break the law' clause in the DMCA. Circumventing the protection, for any reason, by any method, is against the law now in the US.

The real shame here is that MS doesn't EVER license their devkits to anyone unless they are a serious game developer and can front a huge amount of cash. For that matter, Sony and Nintendo don't, either.

I'm sure they are afraid some 'pirate' is going to use the official devkit to figure out how to fake the encryption and all that. But they usually figure all that mess out anyhow, or find an even better way to circumvent the protection, so there really isn't much point.

Re:But wait (1)

amliebsch (724858) | about 8 years ago | (#16058857)

The real shame here is that MS doesn't EVER license their devkits to anyone unless they are a serious game developer and can front a huge amount of cash.

Did you get the memo about XNA? Mmmmm. Yeah. You see, it's just that Microsoft is giving away the XNA studio which allows you to develop for Xbox360, for free. I'll go ahead and get you another copy of that memo. Mmmmkay?

wait (1)

computertheque (823940) | about 8 years ago | (#16058268)

So you're telling me that there is no way for them to mass produce a similar pc box with this purpose in mind at a similar cost, and that they had to use semi-legal means for deployment? There has to be at least one hardware manufacturer willing to do a better volume discount for either nonprofit or specially targeted purposes instead of resorting to modified xboxen.

Simple (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 8 years ago | (#16058451)

The XBOX is a great platform for this because of its simplicity. You plug in a power cable and an AV cord and that's it, you have the display on your television screen. The XBOX is small(ish) compared to most PCs and easily hooks into any input your TV requires. Plus, it's built on standard hardware.

The controller is no longer made... (1)

Two99Point80 (542678) | about 8 years ago | (#16058285)

...and looks like it's been taken over by an Xbox distributor. Hopefully the concept will be adapted to other devices.

Re:The controller is no longer made... (1)

cilynx (182750) | about 8 years ago | (#16058382)

Yet it is. I bought one a month ago to test in my rehab lab. We decided that our custom FSR solution was better. Given that, the P5 is still a fantastic product considering the $60 price tag. []

Well, we should be complaining about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16058355)

It's really sad that medical technology is so severly overpriced. Everyone should quit trashing the DMCA issues and attack the real problem: over inflated health care industry you-can-pay-or-die prices.

As for licensing issues, I say contact the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation for a grant.

Re:Well, we should be complaining about.... (1)

sedman (210394) | about 8 years ago | (#16058764)

Close. However, the reason for the high prices is the cost of malpractice insurance. You can't have any medical equipment fail or you get your back end sued off. That bumps the cost up partly because better parts are used, but mostly to cover the insurance.

--Heston (1)

outriding9800 (547724) | about 8 years ago | (#16058386)

they would have to pry it[xbox] from my cold dead hands.

Wait I am not dead yet?


breaking the law breaking the law (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | about 8 years ago | (#16058467)

An Xbox running linux?

Someone call the cops! That's illegal!

Good thinking... (1)

Slovenian6474 (964968) | about 8 years ago | (#16058483)

...when they're done with their hand exercises, they can play some halo too.

XBOX Recovery (1)

electrogeek_dot_com (1000932) | about 8 years ago | (#16058554)

I think they probably had a stroke in the first place from playing Ghost Recon on their Xbox. Ouch!

Pleasing Image? (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 8 years ago | (#16058647)

Virtual rehabilitation ... engages patients who may otherwise lack interest or motivation to complete normal exercise regimens.
In one exercise, a patient attempts to wipe clean four vertical bars of "dirty" pixels that obscure a pleasant image on a computer display. The bars are erased in proportion to each finger's flexing motion, giving the patient immediate feedback on his or her performance.
Or are they removing clean pixels from a dirty image? Finger motions, eh? [wink wink]

Perhaps it is just a weird time of day, but I couldn't help reading this angle into the article. I suppose it really could be great motivation for some patients - get them to do their exercises by gradually revealing pr0n.
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