Romo pinball rehabilitation

NUS National University of SingaporeSingapore


Concept / Professional




ROMO is a shoulder gaming device designed for stroke rehabilitation.
In contrast to traditional methods, Romo changes the repetitive nature of these exercises into an engaging pinball game. This portable gaming device also allows patients to exercise on the go.

2 years ago, my grandmother suffered from a stroke. I started by studying the rehabilitative equipment in rehab centers. After months of observation, I found out that most of the patients did not improve because these machines are repetitive in nature. The typical rehabilitative equipment is functional. Hence, patients easily lose interest in the exercises. The key issue for a stroke patient is low motivation level. I decided to design something that injects fun into the exercises. Gamifying the rehabilitation experience engages the patient’s attention and motivates him to repeat the exercises.

To start designing rehab games, I started by adding a visual motivator and a maze. It allows the patient to stay focus during the shoulder exercise. I applied the pulley mechanism to stimulate elderly rehabilitation. The vertical pulley system uses a simple mechanism and turns rehabilitation into gameplay. It challenges the patient to perform shoulder external rotation to raise the ball catcher loaded with a ball to holes along with a vertical board. The ball will travel downwards along the track and encouraging them to perform the next repetition. This solution addresses the traditional ways of rehabilitation.

After volunteering in a stroke club for 1 year, I found out that stroke rehabilitation is a very frustrating topic to them because the rehabilitation experience is long. Most of the elderly were unable to show progression, and they were unable to continue the rehabilitation in the centers. The home rehab devices are repetitive and patients are not motivated to continue exercising. There is an opportunity to re-design the home rehab devices. Romo is unique because their caregiver is able to adjust the difficulty level through the weight system and maze track. The ball catcher allowed her to increase the difficulty level in resistance training. A folding door at the back provides the affordance to change the slopes maze in the obstacle course. I hope that Romo continues to be their companion to support them to perform shoulder exercise through a pinball game.


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