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Session Overview
B01-C: 4th IMCL International Student Competition for Mobile Apps
Thursday, 04/Nov/2021:
10:00am - 11:30am

Session Chair: Ioannis Stamelos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Session Chair: Andreas Pester, The British University in Egypt
Virtual location: Zoom Room B

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A Mobile Virtual Reality Serious Game for Vestibular Rehabilitation

Emanuel Pereira, Bruno Ferreira, Paulo Menezes

University of Coimbra, Institute of Systems and Robotics, Coimbra, Portugal

Balance, spatial orientation, and the ability to maintain an upright pos-ture are essential to humans’ daily lives. These capabilities are maintained mainly by the vestibular system, as when some dysfunction occurs, vertigo, dizziness and equilibrium problems appear. Vestibular rehabilitation is fundamental to adapt, habituate, or retrain our brain to decrease/control these known effects and guide patients to normal execution of everyday tasks. This was the subject of a MSc thesis carried out in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Coimbra, which is accessible via, that resulted in the development of a Virtual Reality (VR) app for Android-based smartphones, as a way to gamify vestibular therapeutic exercises. While playing three task-oriented mini-games available in this application, patients execute head movements that support the rehabilitation process.

The usage of VR for vestibular rehabilitation purposes emerged with the works of Viirre et al. [1998], Kramer et al. [1998], stating how it could improve patients’ recovery from vestibular-ocular disorders. Several published works, Whitney et al. [2002], Sparto et al. [2004], Garcia et al. [2013], Meldrum et al. [2015] have also reinforced that these systems had a promising future for maximizing the effects of vestibular rehabilitation over the years. More recently, Micarelli et al. [2017] developed a mobile race game where players had to tilt their head to perform the required interaction. Lubetzky et al. [2020] created VR scenarios that mimic everyday spaces, as a significant number of people with vestibular-related disorders feel fear, confusion and discomfort when immersed. The authors challenged patients to visit both the virtual and the corresponding real spaces, concluding that this type of system aids them in their recovery.

There are also currently expensive technological solutions that can be found in high-end rehabilitation clinics, which most patients are not able to afford. For instance, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital offers two ”exclusive” tools: Bertec Balance Advantage™ Exoskeleton evaluates balance and mobility impairments through VR and a computerized posturography system [2021a]; RealEyeX DVR™ Video System evaluates and records eye movements of patients during their sessions, allowing therapists to distinguish between central and peripheral vestibular pathology [2021b]. On the other hand, DizzyFix™ was developed by the Clearwater Clinical Ltd, Canada Brehmer [2010]. This device aids patients to perform the Epley’s maneuver at home: patients rotate their head while lying down to stimulate the endolymph to shift in the semi-circular canal. Despite its therapeutic purpose, the solution is not ideal: patients don’t have motivation to perform the exercises at home, given the lack of the entertainment aspect.

Contrary to the above, the development of the demonstrator presented here was focused on supporting vestibular rehabilitation therapies through a serious-game (motivational) for common smartphones (low-cost), The result is a game that can be used at home by prescription of a therapist. This application is connected to a backoffice that enables therapists to follow patients’ progress over sessions. An example video demonstrating the usage of the developed mobile app can be observed on the following link:; and downloaded at:

Friend Me

Georgina Skraparli, Lampros Karavidas

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Learning programming is a difficult process and usually many people give up thereon. To motivate people who desire to learn a programming language aged between 12 years old or above, a 2D mobile game named Friend Me was developed. During gameplay, players could learn a programming language from the beginning as the theoretical part is included and continue by practicing it. Users answer programming questions to accomplish missions. The main aim is the adaptation in every programming language and the regular addendum of relevant questions by certified professors effortlessly.

It was developed with Unity game engine and there is constant communication with a database to be adapted appropriately. So, the user needs an internet connection while playing.

To achieve its purpose there are the following characteristics:

  • a realistic scenario to give meaning to it and evoke player’s interest
  • interaction with the game’s environment to explore it and stay active
  • immediate feedback to have knowledge of his/her actions
  • game elements like rewards, competition and challenges to be motivated
  • personal account to store data on player’s performance so he/she has awareness of personal progress
  • theory and questions derived from the database
  • difficulty about learning concepts increases gradually
  • no an actual ending

The game idea is that player’s character is a new student to a school and wants to fit in this new place by meeting his/her classmates (NPCs). To make new friends needs to help them. Above classmates’ heads, there are face icons representing each classmate’s relationship with the player. Initially, all the classmates have a neutral face. The goal is for each classmate to have three happy faces by accomplishing the missions they assign to the player.

During the execution of a mission, the player answers one or more questions (multiple choices, putting code blocks in the right order, writing code’s result), either theoretical or code-based. Furthermore, he/she attends classes to learn programming concepts. Players, to check their progress, can see a progress bar (total coverage: correctly answered questions/all the existing questions), gathered classmates’ face icons, their rank against others and their learning goals badges with the corresponding level through a mobile phone in the game.

The existing games developed by others focus mainly on learning at first stage concepts of a specific programming language (i.e. ProBot [1]) or learning the main concepts of programming in a logic-related way (i.e. Py-rate Adventures [2]). Usually, they end by completing some levels. Friend Me focuses on offering the ability to be easily adapted to any programming language and update immediately new learning challenges that are provided by certified professors. Moreover, it is easily extendable and there is not an actual ending on that.

Video link:

An android version of it without the theoretical part:

[1] Cadavid, J. (2012). Digital Competition Game to Improve Programming Skills. Educational Technology and Society, 15.

[2] Sideris, G., & Xinogalos, S. (2019). PY-RATE ADVENTURES: A 2D Platform Serious Game for Learning the Basic Concepts of Programming With Python. Simulation & Gaming, 50(6), 754–770.

Smart Ladder

Hippokratis Apostolidis, Crhristodoulos Tryphonidis, Nikolaos Politopoulos, George Psathas, Angeliki Mavropoulou

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Video link:

Supplementary material:


The use of technology and engineering tools can facilitate sports skill acquisition and improve performance (McNitt-Gray, Sand, Ramos, Peterson, Held & Brown, 2015). In the past, sports training required a lot of videos and manual paperwork for the athletes and the coaches to estimate mistakes or to improve athlete’s movements. Technology is revolutionizing modern sports training providing real – time feedback, preventing injuries and increasing the athletic potential (Ohio University, 2020).

The agility ladder is a cutting – edge gym equipment satisfying modern sports requirements by developing agility, stability, rhythm, and stamina (Hidayat, 2019).

The proposed solution upgrades the agility ladder to an interactive ladder providing better support in physical education, in personal coaching and in self-regulation. Every step of this ladder is connected to an electric powerless circuit and is corresponding to separated inputs on the makey – makey board. Furthermore, upon the beginning of an agility ladder exercise, the trainee steps on the beginning mat and a timer begins to count automatically. Besides, upon the end of the exercise h/she steps on the ending mat and the timer stops automatically.

There are two applications supporting the smart ladder,

  • A stand - alone application called “SmartLadder” developed in unity environment and deployed in windows and in android versions,
  • A web application called “SmartLadder Dashboard” developed in PHP bootstrap, html5 and running on windows or android equipment.

The stand – alone “SmartLadder” application has two selections, a) design and b) play. When the coach selects “design”, h/she can design the steps of the exercise with points (1 for first step, 2 for second step, e.t.c) around the figure of the ladder. This figure is appeared also in “play” selection and every time the trainee makes a mistake a counter appears besides every step showing how many mistakes encountered in every separate step. This is feedback for the coach. Besides in case of a mistake an indicative sound is heard and two red leds are lighting on. This is feedback for both athletes and coaches. After the end of the execution the coach can store the metrics of the exercise executed in a data base.

The web application “SmartLadder Dashboard” is utilized to,

  • To define the trainees and their exercises.
  • To provide sports analytics. The coach can select the athlete, the exercise and the attempts as filters and produce analytics showing the mistakes on every separate step, or the time spent for the selected options.


McNitt-Gray, J. L., Sand, K., Ramos, C., Peterson, T., Held, L., & Brown, K. (2015). Using technology and engineering to facilitate skill acquisition and improvements in performance. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, 229(2), 103-115.

Ohio University, 2020. How technology is revolutionizing sports training, retrieved from

Hidayat, A., 2019. Effect of agility ladder exercises on agility of participants extracurricular futsal at Bina Darma University. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 1402, Issue 5.

Robotics with Augmented Reality for Training and Rehabilitation

José Carlos Rodrigues1, Paulo Menezes2, Maria Teresa Restivo3

1LAETA-INEGI, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal; 2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Institute of Systems and Robotics, University of Coimbra, Portugal; 3LAETA-INEGI, University of Porto, A3ES, Portugal

This work presents an Augmented Reality application, that can be used in connection with either a collaborative robot or its simulator, as an interactive and assistive tool for rehabilitation processes.
Physical and neuro rehabilitation processes are frequently based on the execution of well-defined movements in terms of trajectory, velocity, and applied force [1]. Here, robots can be used to help in performing and monitoring these parameters.
On another side, it is well known that low motivation and consequent lack of adherence to rehabilitation treatments affect patients’ recovery [2,3]. The gamification of rehabilitation processes is a promising approach [4] as through entertainment we may expect to increase patient retention and endurance. Although VR has been extensively explored to this end, the possible connection with physical elements such as robots can be much better achieved through AR-enabled headsets such as Microsoft Hololens [5].
This Hololens application explores a connection with Robot Operating System (ROS)-based motion planner (MoveIT) and controller that may be connected to a physical UR robot or simply simulate its behavior.
Currently, the application displays a virtual representation of the robot and supports the definition of therapeutic movements as robot “tool” trajectories and their execution. Therapists can benefit from this virtual robot representation to determine if a defined exercise is suitable for a specific patient, before trying it with the physical robot.
Another possible usage of the virtual robot is on serious games for fine motor control activities for upper limb rehabilitation. An example game can be based on a reward-points accumulation for a user that succeeds to keep his hand inside the virtual robot endpoint-zone while it is executing a movement, as previously defined by the therapist. By rewarding the patient for his precision in following the robot we stimulate the patients’ engagement with the treatment.
The application was developed in Unity exploring ROS Bridge for communication with the robot planner/controller. This has the advantage that the movements defined can always be transferred between the virtual and the physical robot when desired.
Future development interactions of the application will also have interaction and communication with real robots of the URe family, which will allow the user to interact with the virtual version and its physical version. Then, as a rehabilitation tool, it can generate opposing forces to create resistance or help the user’s movement, expanding rehabilitation immersive interactive environments.

[1] KYRKJEBØ, Erik; LAASTAD, Mads Johan; STAVDAHL, Øyvind. Feasibility of the UR5 industrial robot for robotic rehabilitation of the upper limbs after stroke. In: 2018 IEEE/RSJ international conference on intelligent robots and systems (IROS). IEEE, 2018. p. 1-6.

[2] AZUMA, Ronald T. A survey of augmented reality. Presence: teleoperators & virtual environments, 1997, 6.4: 355-385.

[3] LEVIN, Mindy F. Can virtual reality offer enriched environments for rehabilitation?. Expert review of neurotherapeutics, 2011, 11.2: 153-155.

[3] Adlakha, S., Chhabra, D., & Shukla, P. (2020). Effectiveness of gamification for the rehabilitation of neurodegenerative disorders. Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, 140, 110192.

[5] CONDINO, Sara, et al. Wearable augmented reality application for shoulder rehabilitation. Electronics, 2019, 8.10: 1178.

Simulated Robots for Pre-school Children Computational Thinking Development

Dimitrios Nikolos, Anastasia Misirli, Vassilis Komis

University of Patras, Greece

Simulated Robots for Pre-school Children Computational Thinking Development
1 Introduction
The design of the environments originated from the limitation of real roaming robots, and especially the fact that the program of the robot remains hidden from the pro-grammer. We thought that a simulated robot would remedy this problem and de-signed our environments in a way that the program is always visible.
The designed application is a set of environments that involve simulated robots that follow simple direction commands (Forward, Backward, Left, Right). The child must program the simulated robot to achieve certain goals. These goals can be open in nature or more specific. We implemented four environments with different goals for the robot:
1. Open-ended environment with pre-designed mats: The simulated robots move freely in the pre-designed mats that are related to different curriculum areas such as literacy, maths, environmental and cultural studies. The target cell of the robot is not predefined.
2. Open-ended environment with editable mat: The user can set obstacles and targets on the mat providing a complex area for the robot to move on.
3. Object hunt on a maze: The simulated robot must go to the position of the target object on a maze
4. Exit maze: The simulated robot must exit a maze
The digital environment is separated in three areas: a) the editing area: on this area the user inputs their program b) the algorithmic area: on this area the program is shown, user can select commands, c) the scenario-based area: the action happens on this area.
2 Design and development
Our design decisions stemmed from the fact that the program would be visible. When the program is visible the child will inevitably click on the commands. We designed the environment in a way that when the child clicks on a command the robot is “tele-ported” to the position that corresponds to that command. The one-to-one relation-ship between commands and positions is achieved because we designed a unique starting point for the simulated robot and the robot automatically returns to the origi-nal position with each click on the play button.
We created a basic and an advanced variation for each of the four environments. The advanced variation provides the affordance of deleting a single command (x1). That way the child can delete only the erroneous command and insert another one (or more) in its place. This affordance is not present in the basic variation of each environment. The basic variations can be used with smaller children than the ad-vanced.
In order to further facilitate debugging we implemented the trace feature that the robot leaves a trace behind it as it moves.
The environments are developed with HTML 5.0, CSS and Javascript for use on mobile and desktop browsers and will be ported as a mobile app with the WebView module.

Video link:

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