Multi sensory-room

Modular robotics stimulates senses and movement of children under long-term hospitalization at the H.A. Andersen Children’s Hospital

Children with severe diseases, who are hospitalized for a longer period of time have a need to stimulate their senses and their bodies. Hospitals all over the world have established what is called sensory rooms with different analogue play equipments and activities, which is used therapeutically to keep children who are confined to their beds active – physically and mentally.

The H.C. Andersen Children’s Hospital in Odense has, in cooperation with the Center for Playware developed an interactive, digitally-based environment for stimulation of the senses. The environment consists of entities inspired by robotic technology that encourages the children to engage in physical interaction, and thereby movement. The system uses light, sound and vibrations as stimulus and consists of amongst others an interactive wall, which activates when it is touched, and by physical movement of wireless entities.

Digital technology has many advantages as a supplement to the traditional, analogue tools. Through user-tests, the children have been very positive over the fact that the technology delivers clear and immediate feedback, and that the use of the tools is intuitive. Moreover, feedback can be adjusted individually to fit each child with respect to sound level, speed and intensity of light.

Technically speaking, the system is based on modular robotics and therefore it has great advantages seen from a therapeutic point of view, as the modules can easily be moved around and can be combined in new ways to make the environment flexible and easily changeable.

The multi sensory room can be used by physically active children as well as children with disabilities – with great response. The room adapts to the child’s abilities and needs. Experience shows that the children forget their situation for a while – and that affects their healing in a positive way.