Study to use video games to help children use prosthetics

The University of Central Florida is teaming up with Orlando Health to launch a national study to see how well video game-based training helps children learn to use prosthetic limbs.

Limbitless Solutions, along with Orlando Health Arnold Parmer Hospital for Children, will work with families evaluating how well video games help children prepare muscles for using bionic arms created by students and the Limbitless team.

Junior engineering major Joshua Coffee who helps create these special arms saying working with this team to help children makes his job worth it.

“It’s really fulfilling to know that the work that I do every day goes directly towards someone who needs it,” Coffee said.

Coffee is working with other UCF students like Remy Marasa, who is working with faculty on fine tuning a video game to help children getting prosthetic arms develop basic functions

“You get a thumbs up, a pointer, pitch an open and a close,” Marasa said.

This study will include up to 20 children from across the country, giving them a chance to work with Orlando Health on creating this companion software.

According to UCF, the study will have an emphasis on recruiting in Central Florida and is open to children aged 7 to 17. There is no cost to participate, but funds to offset travel to the study sites at the hospital and UCF to meet with the study team are limited.

For Marasa, who also lends a hand painting the prosthetics, helping kids is what matters most and fuels her interest in the program.

“See them get the arm for the very first time, put it on and see all of their emotions running then their parents with their siblings with them,” she said

It is a far-reaching impact Coffee, Marasa and the entire Limbitless team are making that, in fact, has no limits.

Participants have not yet been selected for the study.