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Rice University study uses Wii to measure learning


In order to get data on how people learn to perform tasks, two Rice University professors have started a research project using our favorite new all-purpose motion input device, the Wii Remote. In their NSF-supported three-year research project, Marcia O'Malley and Michael Byrne will measure motions in various activities, receiving a constantly-updating stream of data as the repetition of the tasks leads to learning.

Making the Wii connection even easier: the first activities being measured right now are Wii games. "We're starting with a bunch of Wii games," said Byrne. "We find that some games have really good learning properties we can measure, and there are also some that people don't seem to get a lot better at." We're guessing the dual-wheel approach here is being used to gather even more detailed motion info (using more Wiimotes and thus more acceleromters) than just a single device.

The goal of this whole data-collection exercise is to create robotic systems to help teach physical tasks by providing direct feedback to the body -- basically pushing you in the way you need to move.

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