Introduction  -  RevolutionUC

Our project began at the RevolutionUC hackathon, hosted by the University of Cincinnati in April 2017. A "hackathon" is simply an event in which mainly college students get together and spend 24 hours competitively coding and developing team projects.

Our team won first place overall at that hackathon with the prototype for Project Purple (then named "V-Arrrgh"), and this gave us the motivation to continue.

Who We Are

We are Emily Kiehl and Radu Vasilescu, two extremely motivated
high school seniors with a mission to make a difference.

  • Emily Kiehl

    Software development intern at Queen City Software, programmer for school FTC robotics team, member of INTERalliance Leadership Council.

    Proficient with: HTML, CSS, Java, C#.

    Experienced developer, quick learner, amiable, and creative.

  • Radu Vasilescu

    Experienced software developer with extensive technical and creative expertise.

    Proficient with: C, C++, C#, Java, HTML, (S)CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, NodeJS, Python, SQL, PHP, Haskell.

    Excellent strategic and analytical skills, accomplished scholar, passionate learner, and effective problem-solver.

Website Website

What is Amblyopia?

  • 3 : 100 Kids suffer from Amblyopia
  • 2 hours Patching needed every day
  • 1 to 12 years Ages that benefit from treatment

Definition

Amblyopia is the medical term used when the vision in one of the eyes is reduced because the eye and the brain are not working properly. The eye itself looks normal, but it is not being used normally because the brain is favoring the other eye. This condigion is also sometimes called lazy eye.

Treatment

Because the visual system develops very quickly during the first seven to ten years of life, Amblyopia can only be treated in children, usually between the ages of 7 and 17 years old. The two main methods of treatment are "Patching" and the use of atropine.

In both of these methods, the stronger eye is blocked or disabled, forcing the brain to learn to use the weaker eye. However, both of thse methods are extremely uncomfortable for children, and this can lead to a neglect for treatment and irriversible damage later in life.

Our Solution

Amblyopia causes one eye to be weaker than the other. Therefore, treatment involves forcing the brain
to use the other eye. To implement this, we created software that uses an Oculus Rift to try to treat Amblyopia.

Our software individually controls the brightness of each eye, while the patient plays games heavy on perspective and depth perception. Thus, the brain is trained to rely on both eyes evenly.

Oculus image

Through extensive use of our software, we predict that the same effects as "patch"-ing will be achieved.

Our Prototype

At RevolutionUC, we built a fully functional prototype of the Project Purple software.
It featured a series of three simple minigames that proved the potential of our idea,
and that provide an easy framework for expansion into full game development.

Prototype image

We used Unity as a game engine and platform for our demonstration prototype, and we will likely
continue to use it, as it allows us to interface with the Rift intuitively and easily.

Our Plan for the Future

Motivated by personal experience, our mission is to help kids overcome Amblyopia
without having to experience the painful struggles that they do today.



We plan to develop this project further and to create fully-fledged games and software for this platform. To support this, we have successfully applied for a credit-flexibility course at our high school, meaning that we will be working on this project for a full class period every day of next year.                                               Our vision for the future is to complete a series of fun, engaging games for the headset, and then perform real in-home testing with a patient suffering from amblyopia. We plan to write a formal research paper and eventually publish our findings.