(Marie-Curie cofund Career-FIT Postdoctoral fellowship)
Affiliation: Trinity College Dublin
Motor development is the process by which children acquire movement patterns. Gross-motor skills involve large muscles to perform everyday functions, such as standing, walking or running and also, eye-hand coordination skills like throwing, catching or kicking. There is a correlation between motor and cognitive development and evidence to support that improvement of motor-skills impacts cognitive development. Monitoring of motor-development is usually initiated by parental concerned and follow-up by healthcare professionals. Developmental assessment tools are used by professionals to determine whether children are meeting their developmental stages and identify potential shortcomings. Assessment is done on a 1-to-1 basis and normally involves professionals observing children performing loco-motor task. It is a costly exercise and relies on the availability of professionals reasons for which early detection is often delayed with the consequence of timely interventions not being in place.
This research aims to design, develop and evaluate MotorSense, Motion Detection Games to Support Early Functional Screening of Gross-motor Skills’ Development in Children. MotorSense will provide a suite of games that require children to perform motor task aligned to motor development scales. While children play the games, MotorSense will detect their motions and monitor whether motor-development tasks objectives are being met according to the child’s developmental stage. MotorSense aims to support the monitoring of motor development by professionals but more importantly by other stakeholders such as parents, teachers and carers. It is hoped that the data collected by MotorSense on the players will provide professionals additional and frequent data sets on children’s development to trigger appropriate subsequent actions.