Cube Puzzles

Lindsay Epstein


Cube Puzzles: A tangible platform for dynamic assessment of cognitive and psychomotor skills

Cognitive and psychomotor assessments are a vital scientific tool; however, they are resource intensive, can be biased by examiner presence and interaction, and can disadvantage individuals with neurodevelopmental differences such as autism or ADHD. We present a new tangible user interface, Cube Puzzles, that dynamically tracks placement and orientation of colored wooden blocks. The system not only automates data acquisition and captures real-time learning progressions, but it also enables customizable, motivating feedback and synchronization with biosensors. 

We highlight the potential of the system with two user studies involving 22 participants. The first study (n=10) validates and visualizes the dynamic data capture of real-time user activity. The second study (n=12) explores Cube Puzzles as a gamified cognitive assessment platform by examining the effects of reinforcement on user performance, engagement, and physiological arousal. Our work has broad applications within educational and assessment domains, particularly for neurodiverse and elderly individuals.

Part of the SPRING system

Cube Puzzles is a new game-play module for SPRING. In this module, children move and orient colored blocks in order to match a displayed design. This module is inspired by the Block Design activity in the Wechsler Intelligence Scales (e.g., WAIS), quantifying visual-spatial orientation and motor skills. In free-play mode, Cube Puzzles also encourages open-ended design and play with geometric shapes and colors.