Lily Pad

Lily Pad

December 12, 2016

Lily Pad is a system of smart-mats designed for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Children with Autism have the tendency to become overstimulated by their surroundings and daily activities, making these activities more challenging for them. They can become easily distracted with simple activities such as moving from one classroom to the next. The Lily Pad system consists of a set of five pads that emit lights and sounds that call to the child, leading them from one place to the next, while engaging them in fun and interactive activities. Through the use of the Lily Pad App, therapists are able to select activities, customize user settings and track their interactions over time.


Mariana Pinheiro is a recent graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, and she began working on Lily Pad as a result of co-op experience during her master's program. She works closely with mentors and coaches and utilizes other resources provided by the Simone Center, such as The Construct makerspace. Mariana has worked at Studio 9.30, an RIT Design Consultancy with a multidisciplinary studio focused on the production of access and health technologies products. Even after graduation, she continues to work on projects like Lily Pad with different specialized teams. The Lily Pad team working closely with Mariana is Nik Miclette, Matthew Mack, Priyanka Bambarkar, Mark Brown, Andrew Magee, Liz Richardson, Austin Cole, and Maulik Zota. Mariana explains that she is inspired and motivated to move forward with projects like these, even after graduation, because of the kids in the institutions and organizations that she works closely with including Al Sigl and Mary Cariola.

Congratulations Mariana, the Simone Center is looking forward to the continuation of these projects!

Stay tuned for next week's Innovation Spotlight Story on Breathe Buddies.

To learn more about Lily Pad, check out Mariana's article at