System for Automated Measurement of Spatial-cognitive Abilities

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Unmet Need:  Early developing spatial ("block-building") skills may be crucial for later academic achievements.
Despite the importance of block-building skills, there has been very limited development of methods to precisely quantify their nature.  Although block play is one of the most accessible and ubiquitous activities engaged in by young children, block construction is remarkably complex, tapping into a range of different cognitive skills.  Importantly, this complexity is not directly captured in standard techniques of measuring block construction ability; rather, children’s block construction is typically quantified by using standardized tests that yield a score capturing overall accuracy

Technology Overview:  A data collection system using low-cost RGBD cameras (e.g., Microsoft Kinects) and wireless inertial measurement units (IMUs) captures a subject’s motions in the block-building task. One or more RGBD cameras are placed above the user’s workspace; these are positioned to capture the entire setup to minimize the impact of occlusion. Additionally, one or more wireless IMUs are embedded in the blocks used for the block-building task. Readings from the wireless IMUs and RGBD cameras are recorded and synchronized in time. In some embodiments, IMUs are also attached to the subject’s hands, providing an independent measurement of hand motion.

Stage of Development: The above system has been reduced to practice at JHU with a significant sample size for practical implementation.
Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
System for Automated Measurement of Spatial-cognitive Abilities PRO: Provisional United States 62/409,574 10/18/2016     Expired
System for Automated Measurement of Spatial-cognitive Abilities ORD: Ordinary Utility United States 15/784,273 10/16/2017     Pending
For Information, Contact:
Mark Maloney
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