Therapeutic Sensory Room

Sensory rooms, or controlled multisensory environments, are designed to be therapeutic rooms for children with autism and limited communication skills.

They are intended to be both calming and stimulating spaces that develop a child's senses through lighting, music, and objects. The focus is to let the child be guided by sensory exploration and not have to rely on verbal communication.


Our team developed a portable, ocean-themed sensory room. For the main interaction, we designed a central box and paired it with smaller objects that could be placed on its surface to trigger calming lights and sound.

We 3D-printed figurines of marine animals: a seahorse, a turtle, an angler fish, and an octopus. The placement of each animal into its proper position triggered a change in music and visual imagery that was projected from above.



We each designed one marine animal using Fusion 360. We fabricated them using our own 3D-printers which we individually assembled using the Alunar kit.

3D model of seahorse in Fusion 360

3D model of seahorse in Fusion 360


The box was created in Illustrator and fabricated with a laser cutter. It served as a central platform that housed our Arduino and circuits.
The surface of the box had recessed spaces with unique shapes that corresponded to the base shape of each animal. The bottoms of the animals and their recessed spots each had copper contacts, so when the animal was properly placed, it completed a circuit to trigger the music and visuals. The visuals were projected from above, and displayed colored bubbles that emanated from the center of each animal when it was in position. The bubbles were taken from a Processing library.

Laser cut interactive box

Laser cut interactive box

Complete box with interactive pieces