December 8, 2011

High School Duo Develops Gait Tracking Software, Wins National Science Prize

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Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain of Oak Ridge High School, Tennessee, will share a $100,000 college scholarship awarded in the Siemens Foundation’s high school Competition in Math, Science & Technology, after creating a software application that uses Microsoft’s Kinect depth-sensing and motion-tracking camera to analyze a person’s gait. The project, "Using Kinect for Xbox 360 and Computer Vision to Analzye Human Gait," could ultimately contribute to prosthesis design.

In-depth gait analysis can be crucial in diagnosing and treating movement-impairing ailments or fitting prostheses to amputee patients. Not everyone has access to a clinic or gait lab necessary for such analysis. That’s where Liu’s and Cain’s project comes in.

“This team’s project involved the creative reuse of new gaming technology—the Kinect sensor—with advanced computer vision algorithms,” said competition judge Sudeep Sarkar, PhD, professor of computer science and engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa. “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.”

Liu and Cain were among six teams chosen as national finalists from more than 2,400 teens that entered the annual competition. Six individuals were also chose as national finalists

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