Idea Fab Labs Augmented Reality Sandbox – $4,998

What’s Included     Features     Gallery     Testimonial     Specs

This fantastic hands-on exhibit combines a real sandbox with virtual topography and water. It does so by using a closed loop of a Microsoft Kinect 3D camera, powerful simulation and visualization software, and a data projector. The augmented reality (AR) sandbox allows users to create topography models by shaping real sand, which is then augmented in real time by an elevation color map, topographic contour lines, and simulated water. The system teaches geographic, geologic, and hydro-logic concepts such as how to read a topography map, the meaning of contour lines, watersheds, catchment areas, levees, and much more. The open-source software was designed by a team of scientists at UC-Davis.*


  • 7 Arcade style buttons to control water/lava/snow, storm/drought, earth/mars options
  • Sand catchment trough
  • Child’s step stool
  • Easy calibration software and tool

What’s Included:

      • Microsoft Kinect
      • Projector
      • Keyboard and Mouse
      • Computer with AR software installed
      • Wooden sand table, projector mount
      • Calibration Tool
      • Children’s Step Stool
      • Instructions for calibrating your AR sandbox
        Note: Sand not included (we recommend 50+ pounds of white play sand).


      • Designed and Manufactured in Chico, California
      • Shipping Method: Freight/Delivery
      • Product Dimensions: 46″ W x 44″ D x 88″ H
      • Sandbox Bed Dimensions: 38.5″ W x 28.5″ D x 5.75″ H
      • Materials: 3/4 inch Pine Plywood
      • Power Requirements: 120 volt ac


Purchase Augmented Reality Sandbox

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Terms & Conditions and Line Sheet PDF

Customer Testimonial:

Nate Fairchild, Director of Science Programs
Shasta County Office of Education 

“Schreder Planetarium received grants and support from Friends of Schreder Planetarium to purchase an Augmented Reality Sandbox from Idea Fab Labs and our visitors are thrilled! We have several major interactive exhibits at the planetarium but the Sandbox is the hit by far. Both kids and adults enjoy changing the landscape and watching the elevation colors instantly change to match the new land forms. Sometimes I just let them do this for awhile as they oooh and ahhh before I tell them about the rain feature. Once they fill their watersheds with “water” their wonder increases even more. In our world these landscapes can be on any planet, which makes the lava function a terrific fit for us. More than once a visitor has said that the Sandbox alone is worth the price of admission. We opted to keep the workings exposed and the wood natural for a more industrial-technological feel. Maintenance has been easy with almost all sand staying in the box. The bit that is spilled is caught by the exterior trough. ”

Video by UCLA:

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*The Augmented Reality Sandbox was developed by the UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES,, supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL 1114663. For more information, please visit