About my blog

The aim of the ITD course (ID4220) at the Delft University of Technology is to provide Design For Interaction Master students with in-depth theoretical and practical interaction design knowledge to help develop future products based on user-product social interaction. ITD proceeds through a sequence of iterations focusing on various aspects of the brief and the design, and culminates in an experiential prototype.

This blog is managed by Walter A. Aprile: please write if you have questions.



De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Posts in category exercise2

The Final Exhibition of Exercise 2

Yesterday, we showed off our final deliverables by turning a studio at Delft University of Technology’s Industrial Design Engineering Faculty into a contextual environment for the Magic Stick. When visitors first arrived at the studio they could pick up a small tri-fold pocket sized brochure of our product.






 Next, they could enjoy the living room environment, which was built to  illustrate the patient could use the Magic Stick anywhere.  While in the living room visitors could sit on the couch and watch our video about the Magic Stick as well as watch the video of Exercise 1.

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 Final Video of the Magic Stick 

From there, they could move onto the dining room to enjoy candy. We also
created a sports therapy office with a waiting room. Here visitors
could test out the Magic Stick with a "therapist". 

Our contextual Studio

During the exhibit, we received lot of good feedback from visitors and one of the therapists we initially tested our maraca concept with visited us with her child. They both seemed very enthusiastic about the Magic Stick. She said, it would be a nice addition to her hand and wrist therapy tools.  This reaffirmed that the 6 months of work we put into building the Magic Stick could actually turn into a real success for hand and wrist rehabilitation patients. 



The making of…

Last Friday
the morning started with fine-tuning the prototype, making photographs of the
prototype for the poster and brochure and setting up the paper. After that is
was time to get ready for shooting the movie. The storyboard was discussed and
checked for the last time, a list of needed materials was made and the locations
for shooting were determined. We went to several places to collect all the
materials needed and started shooting in Studio Home. The next location was the
therapy room of Marijke Vaske for the scenes at the therapist. It was very nice
that we may use her therapy room! The environment fitted perfect and the lighting
was great. In the late afternoon we shot the last scenes in studio home and who
thinks that playing a role in a movie is a lazy job, is wrong… it was hard
working and muscular pain from playing hand model, but we have had a lot of




Next week,
the 29th of June, during the exposition the end results will be
shown. For now we are busy editing the movie, collecting all the materials for
the exhibition, writing the paper and finalizing the poster, brochure and



Preparations for the exhibition!

We are already preparing the exhibition day. Exercise 1 and 2 will be together in one studio. We will decorate one half of the studio as a doctor’s office and the other half as a living room. Why? Well, because both our concepts are related to hand therapy but are also designed for home use!
We made a list of all needed things, so we can divide everythings.
The couch is already there!

Exercise 2: In the final throws of Magic Stick, Part 1

The Magic Stick
Time is running out; in about two weeks the ITD exhibition takes place. That means that
we have to speed up a little bit with all the stuff that still needs to be done. Last Friday we therefore
divided the tasks efficient: Barry and Dorine worked on the poster, brochure and set-up for the
report, Fawn made the scenario for the movie and searched for locations to shoot, Ruud worked on
the prototype and Eline made the 3D computer model of the prototype.

To give you all a quick update of the progress we made on the different tasks heres a short piece
about every task:

The poster and the brochure are almost finished. After a very useful brainstorm we concluded that “the magic stick” fits our product the best. The first impression of our product provides is a rather sober impression. But once in use you hear and feel the magic. And eventually it preforms ‘miracles’.

On the poster we tried to explain how our product works, by whom it will be operated and how it will be used. The brochure gives a bit more explanation. We are also working on our final report. The structure has been created, now it’s just a matter of adding it all together.


We created a rough storyboard of the video, taking inspiration from various movies of a U.S. site called Kickstarter. There were several elements that we were not exactly sure how to make, so we went to a video clinic where we were able to get a quick tutorial in After Effects. The effect we are going for is going to be challenging and time consuming, but we will try our best to make it happen. The storyboard has all the necessary commentary and rough illustrations of the scenes that are accompanied by explanations of the shoot. We also created a shot list to make sure we get all shots necessary. We will begin shooting on Friday and hopefully we will get confirmation on our preferred locations. 
Partial view of Storyboard  
We made good progress with the final prototype: after getting the supplies to the faculty we sanded
the parts to prepare it for the paint job. After a few layers of primer and a couple more series of
sanding, the final colors were applied onto the stick & caps: black for the body and lime green & red
for the weights. To secure the weights onto the body of the device, we chose to add threaded ends
for a screw-on mechanism. This will only be worked out as concept, just as the USB connectivity for
music (a dedicated USB connector was installed on the inside of the device body). Over the weekend
we worked on a custom neoprene grip, which makes the device comfortable to hold during the

 Painted End Caps with Final Color 
 Sanded and Painted Weight Tube 

3D Computer model
For the presentation we need to present the prototoype, in a model, as though it is going to market. We modeled all the parts in Solidworks, but
the USB connector was quite hard to model, thus we found this component model on the internet.
After all the parts were finished an assembly was made. In the picture below you can see all the different
parts in an exploded view. We now have a model to illustrate the components of our product. 

Magic Stick Rendering, exploded view 

Exercise 2: Manipulating the Speed of Sound

 If you keep drawing out ideas and talking about how things will look like, it is hard to find out how it the product will turn out. By building, you are able to see which parts of your design need to be improved. And this was the case for our team. We found the purchase of last weeks materials such as the weights, did not work as planned. Thus, we had to change the building plan slightly. During the building it was harder than expected to integrate the weights. As we had previously shown, we wanted to attach the weights on the stick through magnets. But since the weights are 1 kilo each, we needed very strong magnets. Therefore we decided not to use the magnets in our prototype, but make use of PVC pieces with weights in it, which can be slide over the main PCV part quite easily. We have yet to determine the final look of the slide on weights. 

We made a trip to GAMMA, an all-purpose store, to find additional equipment we needed for our prototype. 



 New weight and pvc cap

 Meanwhile, we also made changes to the hardware inside. Aside from last week’s discovery of substituting the Phidgets for the Wii-mote to gain wireless capability, we discovered our prototype is now more sensitive to movements and is able to measure more precisely, the patient’s rhythm.  This was a bonus, as it will allow the patient to get proper feedback when performing their exercise at the right or wrong pace. 


Interior of pvc pipe with Wii-mote components
Another plus of using the Wii-remote are the existing buttons and perhaps there is something we can do with light. This is something we will discuss next week. 
Next to the hardware, we also worked on programming our prototype. In order to manipulate the speed of the sound while moving the wrist-rehab-stick, we use Max Msp and send the speed variable to the sfplay object. In our earlier prototypes we used a direct manipulation where movement measurements were directly output in the speed of the song. This resulted in fast changes of audio speed that did not exactly match the users movement. To solve this problem we used the mean and the bucket object in Max Msp to create an average speed sound using the previous speed variables. In our case we are using 5 previous samples. The visualization will illustrate this. The red line is a direct manipulation and the green line is the new averaged out way using the mean object to process the speed of the song.
Illustration of the average speed manipulation using the mean object in max msp
We also implemented new feedback in the form of spoken sentences. Until last week the patient experienced vibration and fast or slow music when he/she did the movement too fast or too slow. Now the patient will hear the voice of a therapist telling him/her if the movement was too fast or too slow, when he/she finishes a song correctly they may go to the next song and attach another weight if the patient finishes the song with too many mistakes they have to start over again. Below you will find the feedback for the various movements during the use of the prototype. The below movie also illustrates some of the audio feedback.   
Interactions and associated feedback
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Video illustrating the movement and sound interaction  

Exercise 2: Realizing patient outcomes into a meaningful product design

After we decided
to focus on sports therapy, we assessed how to improve our current maraca idea in such a way they will be better suited for the patients
and the exercises they have to accomplish. Because there are several different treatments
within sports therapy we made a persona to provide a clear focus on our target
user and inform our design direction. 


 We developed a user persona to drive our design focus


Based on the persona
we made the choice to change the maraca into a stick. During the meeting with
the physical therapist and patients in Zeist we noticed that intuitively people
start shaking the maraca, instead of focusing on the specific therapy movement
they must achieve. Next to that the maracas we initially tested are only
suitable for few exercises. In therapy, the patients must increase weight
to make exercises more difficult as they progress. By changing the shape of our
prototype into a stick on which different weights could be attached, we will
bring the focus back to the exercise and make the device more suitable for a
plethora of exercises. To define the actual shape of the stick we made some
drawings and clay models.


 We built and tested clay models to determine a shape
A sketch of how our maraca evolved after clay modeling

We chose the most
simple and clean shape together with simple attachable weights.  We believe the device will be useful for
multiple exercises by allowing people with different hand sizes and injuries to
hold it in different ways. Additionally, by adding various weights, the device
can progress with the user.


Our final product shape

The weights can be
attached on both ends and can vary from 0,25Kg up till 1Kg each, with a total
weight of 2Kg. The stick itself will weigh close to nothing, because patients
generally begin treatment with simple no weight motions to establish some
mobility. As they progress in strengthening their muscles and range of motion,
weight is added.

Next to the shape of
the prototype we also worked on the feedback sound. The songs we use do not match
the therapy movement. We will be working over the next few weeks to improve the
rhythm of the song to match the rhythm and speed of the movement. Next to that
we are also implementing a game element into the exercise by using sound and
vibration feedback that lets the patient know if they are doing their movements

New outcomes, Exercise 2 visits with a surgery rehab specialist

This morning we
visited another hand therapist to gather feedback on our prototype. At the therapy
clinic in Delft we evaluated medical rehabilitation for patients recovering
from hand surgery.

Rudd, a member of our team interviewing the therapist

During the meeting we
found out there is an essential difference between sports therapy
treatment, which we observed a few weeks ago in Zeist and the approach of the
therapist visited today. 


therapy focuses more on the training of the muscles, getting back strength in
the wrist and arm, using
strength-training equipment with balls and weights and a diverse assortment of
hand/wrist movements,
  while the hand surgery therapist focuses first
on achieving movement in the wrist then
onto strength exercises
, for example, patients start without any equipment at all and must
focus simply on opening and closing their hand. Later they must squeeze clay
that has different densities from easy to difficult. Two-hundred grams of
weight is the maximum ever used in surgery rehab exercises where as sports therapy tools can weigh up to 1 kilo. 



Surgery Rehab Exercises




Blue Clay, the most difficult to squeeze, is used towards the end of therapy


 Motivation for today’s therapist is
implemented by using a ruler that measures each week the patient’s range of
motion or level of flexibility. The patient and doctor can see if they are achieving
their goals. We were told this method works fantastically.


                            A ruler is used to measure range of motion and keep patients motivated to achieve goals



differences between sports therapy and surgery rehab therapy forced us
to choose a direction. Either we could rebuild our prototype, which
currently facilitates a variety of motions and works for patients who
already have a range of motion or we could optimize our existing
prototype to better assist sports therapy patients by including weights
and improving feedback and the physical form. We decided to go with the
second option due to time. 


Exercise 2: A meeting with Sports Therapy Patients

On Friday April 29th we traveled to Zeist, Netherlands to visit with a physical therapist and a few of her patients. We have struggled throughout the semester to secure a visit with actual patients. This is our third doctors office we have attempted to visit. Typically the doctor has not had time for us and has canceled our visits. We were extremely thankful this week to finally have the chance to sit down with a therapist and hear from her patients. We needed to know if the maraca’s we prototyped are succesful in motivating wrist rehab patients. 


The physical therapy office in Zeist


While we waited for our first patient to arrive we sat outside and made sure our equipment was working properly 


A patient testing the maracas. 
We had planned to test with several patients, unfortunately, only two patients made their appointments. None-the-less, we received a lot of helpful feedback. The first patient (pictured above), a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer, did not like the social interaction element. She said, she does her exercises alone while drinking coffee in the morning. She also did not like the music we made, stating, she focused more on learning the new music than on doing her exercises correctly. When we switched the music to a popular song she said, she really enjoyed this interaction, because she knew the song and she could play along. She struggled with the pace of the music, because the music was much faster than her very slow exercises. She very much liked the vibration, because it alerted her when she was doing something wrong. 
Patient number two was recovering from surgery. She was in a lot of pain and found the music distracted her from focusing on the pain. She found the social interaction to be very helpful as it also took focus off her pain. At the same time, the social interaction was used by the therapist to show the patient how to do the exercises correctly.  The vibraton was also very helpful for her in knowing if she was doing an exercise correctly. 
Patient testing maracas
In between patients we met with the physical therapist to discuss exercises, equipment used in wrist therapy and to gain insights from her about our prototype.  She told us her biggest issue is getting the patients to do the exercises correctly. Often they are distracted by other things and lose focus on the actual movement of their wrist. She also said, teenagers have a hard time staying motivated, because the exercises are very boring. She thinks the maracas could help keep them motivated, but worries they will do the exercises incorrectly if they lose focus on the movement. 
From left to right: our team members Dorine, Barry and Femke (therapist)
Femke let us test out some of the tools she uses most frequently in wrist rehab. Additionally, she loaned us a very helpful book that gives illustrations of the various wrist exercises. We learned the stick and ball are the most important tools, but they are used individually. Second, weight is extremely important. Generally patients start out with extremely light weight balls or sticks and move up to 1/2 kilo over a course of several weeks.  
The most used tools from left to right: extremely light ball (weighs nothing), Stick (1/2 kilo), ball (1/2 kilo)
Ruud testing out the red ball
Eline testing out the red ball. It is not as easy as it looks. We struggled with the red ball (1/2
kilo). If it is hard for us, we can’t imagine what the patients feel. 
Exercises as illustrated in the book Femkah loaned to us 

After speaking with the therapist, patients and reading the book, we found the maraca limits the patients to only a few exercises. A ball OR stick allows patients to do a plethora of movements. Femkah said the maraca could be used in the beginning or end of therapy where they do not have to focus as much on the movement, but as it is now, it could not be used for the middle portion of their treatment.

The patient/therapist visit was extremely helpful. We only wish we had a few more patients to test with, but considering the tight timeline, we do not have time to find more. We will be visiting another therapist in a couple weeks, but we do not believe we will have access to their patients. We are hopeful the therapist can provide more insights or confirm the ones we already obtained.

In the coming weeks we will be refining our design to better accomodate wrist rehab patients. 

Again a special thanks to Femke and her patients for meeting with us.

Nutcracking for Rehab Presentation

On Friday April 8, 2011 we met with our Interactive Technology Design Coaches and students to present our nutcracking. After we showed our short video we had participants come to the front of the room to test out our prototype. The feedback was useful. 

We were told we should look into:

  •  The formgiving. The maracas are shaped like a maraca, but don’t exactly perform like a maraca. Is the handle the right shape?
  • The music, right now the current music and interaction makes it difficult to know or hear the differences. It sounds a bit messy. How can we improve this experience. Maybe make it more maraca sounding.
Over the next few weeks we will begin testing our prototype with target users and we hope to observe how patients interact with it and we would like to gather feedback on whether or not the maracas will actually keep them motivated and what improvements they would like to see. We will also work with a sound specialist to make improvements to the musical feedback. 
YouTube Preview Image


Nutcracking for Rehab



Last Friday March 25, 2011, we, the Exercise 2 team began working on what we perceive to be the toughest interactive problem in the evolution of the maraca for wrist rehabilitation. While our main goal is to motivate the wrist rehab patient to do their exercises, we came up with several ideas of what we wanted to accomplish to make the maraca a richer experience. 

Ideas for Evolution

Interactive – Add vibration so the user is sensorialy made aware they are going too fast or too slow

Social & Fun- Get 2 or more maracas to interact with one another (in the end the various maraca’s act as different instruments so that a group of people can create their own music) for now, we will focus on getting the maracas to control different aspects of the music. 

Mobile- Make standalone without the need for a computer (wish list item right now due to complexity and tool constraints)

Toughest Problem (nutcracker)

We identified vibration and social interaction as the toughest nuts to crack due some complexities in programming and our novice understanding of Phidgets and Arduino. 

Solution & Prototype Mods

We built two new prototypes with vibration sensors and we are working to get them to control different parts of the music, thus far, we have succeeded, but the pitch is off. We are planning to work on this today and hope to convince our coaches our ideas are strong enough to move forward. 



© 2011 TU Delft