A novel artistic virtual reality (VR) environment was developed and tested for use as a rehabilitation protocol for post-stroke hand rehabilitation therapy. The system was developed by an interdisciplinary team of engineers, art therapists, occupational therapists, and VR artists to improve patients' motivation and engagement. Specific exercises were developed to explicitly promote the practice of therapeutic tasks requiring hand and arm coordination for upper extremity rehabilitation. Here we describe system design, development, and user testing for efficiency, subject's satisfaction and clinical feasibility. We report results of the completed qualitative, pre-clinical pilot study of the system effectiveness for therapy. Fourteen stroke survivors with chronic hemiparesis participated in a single training session within the environment to gauge user response to the protocol through a custom survey. Results indicate that users found the system comfortable, enjoyable, tiring; instructions clear, and reported a high level of satisfaction with the VR environment and rehabilitation task variety and difficulty. Most patients reported very positive impressions of the VR environment and rated it highly, appreciating its engagement and motivation. We are currently conducting a longitudinal intervention study over 6 weeks in stroke survivors with chronic hemiparesis. Initial results following use of the system on the first subjects demonstrate that the system is operational and can facilitate therapy for post stroke patients with upper extremity impairment.
This paper describes the research and development of a virtual reality visualization project "Passing excellence" about
the world famous architectural ensemble "Kizhi". The Kizhi Pogost is located on an island in Lake Onega in northern
Karelia in Russia. It is an authentic museum of an ancient wood building tradition which presents a unique artistic
achievement. This ensemble preserves a concentration of masterpieces of the Russian heritage and is included in the List
of Most Endangered Sites of the World Monuments Watch protected by World Heritage List of UNESCO. The project
strives to create a unique virtual observation of the dynamics of the architectural changes of the museum area beginning
from the 15th Century up to the 21st Century. The visualization is being created to restore the original architecture of
Kizhi island based on the detailed photographs, architectural and geometric measurements, textural data, video surveys
and resources from the Kizhi State Open-Air Museum archives. The project is being developed using Electro, an
application development environment for the tiled display high-resolution graphics visualization system and can be
shown on the virtual reality systems such as the GeoWall<sup>TM</sup> and the C-Wall.
This paper will explore how the aesthetics of the virtual world affects, transforms, and enhances the immersive emotional experience of the user. What we see and what we do upon entering the virtual environment influences our feelings, mental state, physiological changes and sensibility. To create a unique virtual experience the important component to design is the beauty of the virtual world based on the aesthetics of the graphical objects such as textures, models, animation, and special effects. The aesthetic potency of the images that comprise the virtual environment can make the immersive experience much stronger and more compelling. The aesthetic qualities of the virtual world as born out through images and graphics can influence the user's state of mind. Particular changes and effects on the user can be induced through the application of techniques derived from the research fields of psychology, anthropology, biology, color theory, education, art therapy, music, and art history. Many contemporary artists and developers derive much inspiration for their work from their experience with traditional arts such as painting, sculpture, design, architecture and music. This knowledge helps them create a higher quality of images and stereo graphics in the virtual world. The understanding of the close relation between the aesthetic quality of the virtual environment and the resulting human perception is the key to developing an impressive virtual experience.
This panel presentation will exhibit artwork developed in CAVEs and discuss how art methodologies enhance the science of VR through collaboration, interaction and aesthetics. Artists and scientists work alongside one another to expand scientific research and artistic expression and are motivated by exhibiting collaborative virtual environments. Looking towards the arts, such as painting and sculpture, computer graphics captures a visual tradition. Virtual reality expands this tradition to not only what we face, but to what surrounds us and even what responds to our body and its gestures. Art making that once was isolated to the static frame and an optimal point of view is now out and about, in fully immersive mode within CAVEs. Art knowledge is a guide to how the aesthetics of 2D and 3D worlds affect, transform, and influence the social, intellectual and physical condition of the human body through attention to psychology, spiritual thinking, education, and cognition. The psychological interacts with the physical in the virtual in such a way that each facilitates, enhances and extends the other, culminating in a 'go together' world. Attention to sharing art experience across high-speed networks introduces a dimension of liveliness and aliveness when we 'become virtual' in real time with others.