Maximillian Cover

AR/VR Interface Design For Rehabilitation With Exoskeleton

This project uses VR, AR, and XR to create interactive human-machine interfaces for home-based stroke rehabilitation. It sets out to investigate the potential of digital twins and immersive technologies for sustained behaviour change over time.


The major cause of long-term disability among adults in Europe is stroke (Brewer et al. 2012). Stroke patients often have to go through challenging and extensive rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is instrumental in complication management and in restoring motor and cognitive functions lost after brain injury (Knecht, Hesse & Oster 2011; Wcislo et al. 2011). Regaining autonomy and living an independent life is at the core of rehabilitation efforts. Many patients cannot lead a self-determined life as they are faced with a loss of important daily skills and suffer from motor deficits (Knecht, Hesse & Oster 2011). This project is embedded in the larger European project ReHyb (Rehabilitation based on Hybrid Exoskeleton). ReHyb aims to develop a wearable therapeutic exoskeleton device for a home-based rehabilitation of stroke patients (ReHyb 2020).

Currently, literature focuses mostly on immediate behaviour change where the undesired behaviour can be replaced with the desired one through the design of one intervention. Long-term behaviour change is, however, not characterized by such a linear relationship. In stroke rehabilitation, e.g., setbacks and lapses of the patient are common and the occurrence of a behavioural drift is likely (Kwasnicka et al. 2016). This PhD project examines the underpinning mechanisms of sustained behaviour change (e.g. adherence to rehabilitation/training programs). This is crucial as the next step of the project consists in designing a multimodal technical system for a more effective, personalised and digital rehabilitation journey. This proof of concept will comprise emergent technologies such as Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Digital Twin, as well as latest monitoring devices (tracking bio signals of the patient).

Project objectives

The new insights on crucial factors affecting adherence will be exploited to design and develop a digital twin prototype with an AR Interface for stroke rehabilitation. The project will critically assess the potential of immersive technologies to enable sustaining behaviour over time. Particularly, it will be investigated what role wearable technologies, digital twins, and XR may play in this process.


  • Wittmann, M., Cash, P., Mariani, M. E., Maier, A., & Hansen, J. P. (2021). Sustaining Behaviour Change Through Immersive Technologies: Trends, Perspectives, and Approaches. In Proceedings of the Design Society (pp. 2891-2900)
  • Ciccone, N. W., Dornonville de la Cour, F. L., Thorpe, J. R., Forchhammer, B. H., & Maier, A. (2021). Personal Technology Use Amongst Stroke Patients: Understanding the Best Platforms for the Design of Health Interventions in Treatment and Rehabilitation. In Proceedings of the Design Society


  1. Brewer, L., Horgan, F., Hickey, A., & Williams, D. (2013). Stroke rehabilitation: Recent advances and future therapies. Q J Med, 106(1), 11–25.
  2. Knecht, S., Hesse, S., & Oster, P. (2011). Rehabilitation after stroke. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 108(36), 600-6.
  3. Kwasnicka, D., Dombrowski, S. U., White, M., & Sniehotta, F. (2016). Theoretical explanations for maintenance of behaviour change: a systematic review of behaviour theories. Health Psychol Rev., 10(3), 277-296.
  4. ReHyb (2020). Rehabilitation based on hybrid neuroprosthesis. Retrieved from web:
  5. Wcislo, R., Kitowski, J., Wrzeszcz, M., Otfinowski, J., Probosz, K., Sobczyk, A., & Pisula, M. (2011). Remote rehabilitation of stroke patients. In HEALTHINF 2019 – Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics, Rome, 2011, 500-503.


Anja Maier
DTU Management
+45 45 25 60 45


John Paulin Hansen
DTU Management
+45 45 25 48 52
27 JANUARY 2023