Artificial Life and Robotics

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 150–156 | Cite as

bioToys: biofeedback toys for playful and self-determined physiotherapeutic activities

  • Tomoya ShimokakimotoEmail author
  • Asaki Miura
  • Kenji Suzuki
Original Article


In the field of physiotherapy, physical therapists assist children with impaired motor functions or congenital loss of limbs to recover their motor functions or to adapt to the use of prostheses controlled by electromyography signals, respectively. However, children often quit training in the use of artificial limbs because it becomes boring with repetition. During a limited time, physical therapists are required to perform many operations on the biofeedback systems in order to personalize them for each user. It is important for children to feel excited about the therapeutic activities. Furthermore, the biofeedback systems should be easy for the therapists to use. In this paper, we propose a building-block-based biofeedback toy called “bioToys.” This system consists of input blocks to receive physical or physiological signals and output blocks to generate different action or effects. This building block system allows users including therapists, children, and their family to program and personalize the biofeedback systems. Finally, we show that by using the developed system, it is possible to control the toys and to record the muscle activities in real time.


Playware Biofeedback Toy Children Education Tangible interaction 


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Copyright information

© ISAROB 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoya Shimokakimoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Asaki Miura
    • 1
  • Kenji Suzuki
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of System and Information EngineeringUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Center for Cybernics ResearchUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Japan Science and Technology AgencyKawaguchiJapan

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