The intent of this project is just wonderful and one of the most intriguing uses of citizen science I have seen. The authors combine the need to collect water quality data with the need to motivate patients who require rehabilitation with a lot of repetitive motion. While the study is somewhat contrived, the results show real promise – make your rehabilitation efforts count even more by contributing to environmental monitoring! — LFF —
Abstract: Citizen science enables volunteers to contribute to scientific projects, where massive data collection and analysis are often required. Volunteers participate in citizen science activities online from their homes or in the field and are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here, we investigated the possibility of integrating citizen science tasks within physical exercises envisaged as part of a potential rehabilitation therapy session. The citizen science activity entailed environmental mapping of a polluted body of water using a miniature instrumented boat, which was remotely controlled by the participants through their physical gesture tracked by a low-cost markerless motion capture system. Our findings demonstrate that the natural user interface offers an engaging and effective means for performing environmental monitoring tasks. At the same time, the citizen science activity increases the commitment of the participants, leading to a better motion performance, quantified through an array of objective indices. The study constitutes a first and necessary step toward rehabilitative treatments of the upper limb through citizen science and low-cost markerless optical systems.
Image Credit: Palermo et al., 2017. Schematic of experimental setup appears as Fig. 1 in article.