Politecnico di Milano
Integrated Product Design, School of Design
Master Degree Thesis
Design of a Hybrid Toy-System to exercise fine motor skills in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. My thesis proposes a reflection on the role of design, applied in the therapeutic field. The insights that emerged from the research path have resulted in a design idea that merges the world of hybrid and disability toys. Hybrid toys take advantage of digital devices in order to make the gaming experience more engaging. Lack of engagement is often identified as a key problem in therapeutic sections. Therefore, the principles of hybrid games, combined with the purposes of gamification, may involve the child during the therapeutic session.
Condition of impaired motor function. Typically, children will have difficulty with gross and fine motor tasks. Activities of daily living are specifically affected and the ability of children to perform motor tasks will be below that of their peers.
The overall goal for Yogo is to create a toy that can be used at home or during a therapeutic session, which is perceived by the child not as therapy but as a purely playful moment. To do this, Yogo translates therapeutic exercises, suitable for children with DCD, into a digital game app, with which the child can interact using tangible tools, specially designed to improve her manual motor skills.
Concept Generation Path
4 main Research Topics
- Developmental Coodination Disorder
- Kids and Play activities
- Fine motor Skills
- Hybrid Toys
- Co-Design with Therapists
- Involving Engineers
- Professors and UX-UI designers
Involvement of users
- Interviews (with parents and therapists)
- Kids observation
The child does not interact with the touch screen but uses the tablet through the tools. Yogo can be used at home or during a therapeutic session and can be customized according to the needs of the children themselves. In fact, through an application, the therapist can set the difficulty and choose the exercises/games most suitable for the child.
Yogo is the name of the main character in the digital game. In fact, in order to guide the child during the game activities, it was chosen to use a virtual friendly character.
Advancement of levels
Parental Control – Sleep mode
Achievements and medals screen
The project value relies in its service and as such it benefits not only children but also their caregivers. Yogo is a means for the therapist to monitor the child even at home within the hours devoted to therapy. Parents can observe the child’s progress, verify the correct use of the digital device, but also actively play with their child.
App for therapist
The app keeps the progress history and documents the difficulties faced by the child, allowing the therapist to change the game in progress. In this way the therapy is tailored and can fully meet the needs of the specific child.
Through the app the therapist can:
- Manage game-activities based on the therapeutic path
- Personalise the game-activities proposed by Yogo
- Manage appointments and contact parents
App for parents
Through the app the parent can:
- Parental Control
- Monitoring the progress of the child
- Manage appointments and contact the therapist