A-blocks: Recognizing and assessing child building processes during play with toy blocks

Toshiki Hosoi, Kazuki Takashima, Tomoaki Adachi, Yuichi Itoh, Yoshifumi Kitamura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Citations (Scopus)


We propose A-Blocks, a novel building block device that enables detection and recognition of children's actions and interactions when building with blocks. Quantitative data received from constructing and breaking A-Blocks can be valuable for various assessment applications (e.g., play therapy, cognitive testing, and education). In our prototype system, each block embeds a wireless measurement device that includes acceleration, angular velocity, and geomagnetic sensors to measure a block's spatial motion and posture during children's play. A standard set of blocks can be managed via Bluetooth in real time. By using combined sensor data, the system can estimate how to stack the blocks on each other by detecting surface collisions (Figure 1) and recognize many fundamental play action patterns (e.g., moving, stacking standing, waving) with SVM. Unlike existing block-shaped devices with physical constraints on their connections (e.g., electrical hooks, magnets), our solid and traditional-shaped block device supports flexible block play that could include more delicate motions reflecting a child's inner state (e.g., learning stages, stress level, representation of an imagination). These benefits of analyzing children's block play can be extended to allow for more enjoyable and interactive play, while social impacts include more constructive play.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGGRAPH Asia 2014 Emerging Technologies, SA 2014
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450319553
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 24
EventSIGGRAPH Asia 2014 Emerging Technologies, SA 2014 - Shenzhen, China
Duration: 2014 Dec 32014 Dec 6

Publication series

NameSIGGRAPH Asia 2014 Emerging Technologies, SA 2014


ConferenceSIGGRAPH Asia 2014 Emerging Technologies, SA 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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