Analogue, a theatre/art group, has developed an interactive installation dubbed Transports powered by Raspberry Pi that lets you experience Parkinson’s symptoms.
In the illusion, a person’s mind is tricked into believing that his/her hand is the hand shown in some point-of-view video and the motorised glove worn by the user gives the feeling of tremors associated with the Parkinson’s. The glove recreates tremors, the ones experienced by patients, at 6 hertz – the upper limit of what is experienced by people with Parkinson’s disease.
Users are asked to follow instructions fed through headphones and using the glove, which creates an illusion of a virtual limb, they are supposed to mimic the movements of a man on the screen and manipulate real cutlery as he does.
The components of the setup are controlled using Raspberry Pi.
“The installation takes the user through a number of everyday tasks from the perspective of Andrew, a man in his thirties with Parkinson’s, who is about to give a speech at a friend’s wedding”, notes The Raspberry Pi Foundation in a blog post.
Analogue says that Andrew’s experience have been collected through real life experiences of people, interviews and from blogs posted by those dealing with Parkinson’s. Analogue is using the setup to “raise awareness and promote empathy among health professionals and carers.
The primary aim behind creating the simulation is to mimic physical and psychological effects of Parkinson’s in its early stages through body illusions wherein the brain accepts a fake limb as under its own control.