Working VRA Device – Larger and updated!

My previous VRA device was great (Click here to read up on it), but there were several changes I wanted to implement in future iterations.

I wanted it to be larger, I wanted the controller to look nicer, I wanted the electronics to have a cleaner vibe and be more reproducible on a small scale, I wanted dual power mode (battery and wall plug in options), and I wanted to add in a toy movement option.

Here’s the newest model. It’s 3D printed too!


First things first, I redesigned the entire device.  I made the VRA device larger, and currently it’s about half the size of a full sized VRA toy in most clinics.  I felt that at the current size, a clinician gets the best of both worlds: the device is clinically useful, can fit in any size booth, and is portable for patients that cannot come to your clinic or hospital for testing!

Controller look

I love the look and feel of the new controller. It’s simple and easy to use.  It feels nice during use, and it quite ergonomic. Here’s the device in action.  I want to increase the brightness of the lights in the next iteration.

Cleaner electronics

Thanks to the awesome coding help from Dr. Tarek Loubani of, I am happy to say that this VRA device is fully operated on an Arduino Uno processing system! This is an inexpensive processor (like a little computer) that does a specific task.  In my case, when you press a button, you either get the lights on, or the lights and movement on.

Dual power mode

No power outlet? No problem.  You can operate the VRA device completely off of a battery power bank, or you can plug it directly into a wall outlet using a wall-to-USB adapter (much like the ones used for smartphones).

Toy movement

Yup, this VRA device comes equipped with the ability to turn on movement for the toy in the device.  If you don’t want this on, just click the switch, and only the lights will operate.

Swap-able Toys

We all have those patients that just love a particular toy: Spiderman, minions, Paw Patrol.  No problem, slide off the acrylic plate, take off the toy, and add in what ever you’d like.  As long as it fits in the toy area, it will be sure to keep up your patient’s attention.

Upgrade to more devices

One VRA device isn’t enough for you? No problem.  This particular device is very easy to add to, since each of the devices work on completely separate systems.  The controller actually has attachment points where other controllers can be clipped onto it.  No need to buy more than what you feel you need.

Mountable (back)

This device comes equipped with the ability to be mounted onto a wall for testing in a more permantent environment (like a sound booth).


So that’s the VRA device.  This is still a work in progress.  Here’s what I’d like to do in the next iteration:

  • Make the LED lights brighter.
  • Make the wire from the controller to the device longer (currently it’s 6ft, I’d prefer it at least be 10 ft long.
  • Slight cosmetic upgrades.