ReVIVE: Rehabilitation Via Immersive Virtual Environment



The aim of this research project is to develop virtual reality software for eventual use during rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury.


A user-centred design was used to develop and test the feasibility of an immersive 3D virtual reality wheelchair training tool for people with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Status of Research

Phase 1  – complete.

Phase 2  – underway.



The Oculus Rift Wheelchair Training System has the potential to provide a virtual rehabilitation setting which could allow wheelchair users to learn valuable community wheelchair use in a safe environment.

Nausea appears to be a side effect of the system, which will need to be resolved before this can be a viable clinical tool.

Following is a video of a presentation on the results of Phase 2:

Following is a video of a presentation on the project and results of Phase 1:


Nunnerley, J., Gupta, S., Snell, D., & King, M. (2016). Training wheelchair navigation in immersive virtual environments for patients with spinal cord injury: End-user input to design an effective system. Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2016.1176259

News articles:

MTech-offers-more-than-games-for-spinal-rehab (September 22, 2017)

Stickmen Media powering wheelchairs in virtual reality (June 13, 2015)

Key Contact

Dr Jo Nunnerley,
Burwood Academy of Independent Living.
Phone:  +64 3 383 6871
Mobile:  +64 21 1872651

Researchers and Collaborators

Debbie Snell,
Burwood Academy of Assisted Living.

Marcus King,
Callaghan Innovation.

Dr Swati Gupta,
Callaghan Innovation.
Ally Calder,
University of Otago, Christchurch.

Stickmen Media have also been involved in this project.

Research Assistants:

Final Year Physiotherapy Students,
University of Otago.