What is TinyTrainers?

TinyTrainers is a smartphone application that is created with the goal to make it more fun to exercise . It is a game with physiotherapy exercises as an input for the games* . The exercises are specifically chosen to be useful for a child diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type I and type II. The game, a smartphone app, consists of a virtual pet (a cat or dog) which you can feed, clean, and play with if you have food, toys and soap. In order to acquire the food, toys and soap there is a requirement to play a mini game that is based around physiotherapy exercises. Five exercises are included; one for the neck, one for Knee swing, one for hip flexion, one for seated postural training and one for the shoulders.

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For whom was the app made?

The games are designed to be enjoyed by a 4-7 year old child, although both younger and older children can find the app fun. The exercises are chosen because of their wide range of usefulness to many children diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. More specifically, the target audience is children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type I and type II.

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What does it contain?

The app contains one room with a virtual pet that a child can interact with. The children can for example clean up cobwebs, remove poops, feed the pet, and more.

In order to get resources the children have to play games that require exercise as input.

These exercises are

  • Lifting head while lying on stomach
  • Lifting arms in sitting or standing position
  • Training of balance and posture in sitting position.
  • Hip lift
  • Knee swing.
  • The app also contains a screen which shows information usable to a physiotherapist when you meet them face to face in their clinic
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Physiotherapy designed

All games have been developed together with a physiotherapist specialized on dealing with kids with SMA, and all movements inside the games are endorsed by this physiotherapist. The games are great to play for an extended period of time!



In order to encourage exercise we have implemented notifications. The notifications come once a day. You can choose when the notifications should arrive in "Settings", by selecting the time of your choosing. The content of the push notification will be a suggestion to interact with the pet, depending on if it is hungry, dirty or bored.

If you have enabled notifications in settings but nothing appear on the phone, make sure that notifications are enabled for the app. You can see this in "iPhone Settings" > "Settings".

Accessibility controls

Voice support

Some of the games require the opening and closing of the mouth as input. If this is not suitable for your child, you can enable "voice control" as an accessibility option in the settings scene. Enabling this shows a voice controller inside the mini games of Soap (neck) and Toy (spine). Using the slider you can adjust how small sounds the mechanism should pick up.

Turning off the requirements of the game

To enjoy the virtual pet to the full extent the default behaviour in the game is to require exercise. Through exercises you receive items that you can use to interact with the pet. If you do not want your child to have to perform certain exercises, you can disable the requirement of the exercise, and your child will have access to the connected resource at all times. You can do this in "settings", accessible from the main menu.

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In general

  • Make sure that only one person is in the camera feed
  • In the Food game, it works best with some contrast (person clearly visible, dark clothes by white wall is great)
  • Make sure there is good lighting and that the face is clearly visible

The Food game is hard to play - hands are going up and down

  • Be sure to stand inside the camera view
  • Maybe calibration needs to be improved. Recalibrate to try and fix.
  • Only one person can be in the camera view at a time, otherwise the algorithms does not know who is playing
  • If it is dark, try to increase the lighting

The frog does not come up of the water in the Soap game

  • The face is not visible to the camera. Try to go to a distance of approx 30-40cm from the camera
  • Make sure the lighting is good
  • Remove hair in front of your face
  • Make sure only one face is in front of the camera

The frog does not shoot out its tongue in the Soap game

  • Open the mouth more
  • If unable to, enable voice input in settings menu, reachable from start menu

The chipmunk face is below the line in the Toy game

  • Stretch more to make the chipmunk go up
    If it is not high enough, then recalibrate

The chipmunk face is not in the center in the Toy game

  • The phone has been moved too much since calibration. Recalibrate to fix the issue.

*exercises to be used as a complement to physiotherapy, not to replace physiotherapy

If you have techical issues contact us at [email protected]

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