Designing action-characterizing toy blocks for behavior assessments

Xiyue Wang, Miteki Ishikawa, Kazuki Takashima, Tomoaki Adachi, Ehud Sharlin, Patrick Finn, Yoshifumi Kitamura

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


Playing with toy blocks reveals patterns in children’s play that are valuable for therapy and assessment. Following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, we witnessed young survivors expressing post-trauma stress in block play. Motivated by the limitations in assessing this behavior using traditional methods, our paper describes the design rationales of AssessBlocks, an action-characterizing system using smartwatch embedded toy blocks. Utilizing a smartwatch’s Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and capacitive screen, a monitor is able to receive, visualize and document sequential and quantitative play actions that were empirically selected from a preliminary block therapy study on children’s post-disaster stress. We also propose our vision of a multi-dimensional behavioral assessment system using actions obtained by AssessBlocks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 20
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 2018 Apr 212018 Apr 26

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2018


  • Affective
  • Automated toy
  • Behavior assessments
  • Children
  • Earthquake
  • PTSD
  • Play therapy
  • Post-trauma stress
  • Tangible user interface
  • Toy blocks
  • Tsunami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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