Pengunaut Trainer

A Playful VR App for Kids to Prepare for MRI Examinations

Our Mission

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a painless way to look inside the body. But the confinement of the bore, the noise and having to lie still during the entire procedure can be stressful for many patients.

Our mission is to make MRI scans more comfortable for children. The aim is to eliminate the need for sedation or anaesthesia and to ensure and improve the children’s well-being.

This is why we have developed the Pengunaut Trainer.

The Pengunaut Trainer

The Pengunaut Trainer is a free virtual reality (VR) app for smartphones that prepares children for MRI scans in a playful way. Step by step and with mini-games, children explore a lifelike examination room and train to lie still while experiencing a virtual MRI scan. They are accompanied by the Pengunauts Bella and Benny.

Read all about the app, the concept and our training kit.

“I knew it wouldn’t be that bad in the MRI.
The Pengunaut Trainer helped me a lot!” (Arthur, 6 years)

Free Download

Our app is completely free!
You can download it from the app stores for Android smartphones or iPhones.
Or click one of the buttons below.

If you would like to support our project financially, you can click here for more information.

Winner of the XR Science Award 2022 of the German Institute for Virtual Reality (DIVR) in the category
“Athletic Performance, Psychology & Health”

Further Information

Virtual Reality

What is Virtual Reality (VR) and how do you turn a smartphone into VR goggles? Where can I get a VR viewer for my smartphone? Find the answers here.


Learn about the scientific background of our concept as well as the accompanying study, results and publications.

About the Project

The Pengunaut Trainer is the result of a non-profit, scientific collaborative project. Here you can read all about the partners, sponsors and participants.

Your Support

We want every child facing the challenges of an MRI to have the opportunity to prepare with the Pengunaut Trainer. That’s why our app is free and publically available. After initial funding from the European Union and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), we are now relying on donations to cover all the costs of the project, especially for development and maintenance.

If you would like to support our work, please see the following page for more information on how you can help us with a donation.

Further Projects

We are committed to improving the well-being of patients and their families before, during and after their stay in the children’s hospital. To this end, we have already launched many different projects at the Centre for Child and Youth Medicine at the Essen University Hospital, Germany.


Our Sweet Dive VR project is an innovative, non-drug approach to pain relief, immobilisation and relaxation for young patients and their caregivers during peripheral and central port puncture, biopsies and suturing of minor wounds.

More Informatation:


The LOUISA patient portal is dedicated to the children and adolescents of our hospital and offers digital services that are playful, innovative, informative and tailored to the needs of our patients.

More Information: (Page in German only, sorry!)

Contact Us

Do you have any questions or comments about the Pengunaut Trainer?
Would you like to support our work?
Then please contact us!

We are constantly working on new ideas and concepts, so we would love to hear about your experiences with the app and the training kit. Send us your story in text, picture or sound and support the project and our research!

Use the form below to contact us.

    Pengunaut Trainer – Fearless in the MRI

    With the friendly support of

    Child's Play. Play Games. Feel Better.


    © LAVAlabs Moving Images GmbH
    © Entertainment Computing Group, Universität Duisburg-Essen

    Disclaimer / Copyright

    The audio-visual content and documents presented on this page are protected by copyright under German copyright law – copying/duplicating, editing, distributing or modifying them is only permitted with the written permission of the copyright holder (Entertainment Computing Group, University of Duisburg-Essen; LAVAlabs Moving Images GmbH). This does not apply to downloading the application to one’s own smartphone in order to use the application. The use is exclusively intended for private and non-commercial use. Insofar as the contents of the application and the website were not created by the operator, the copyrights of third parties are respected. The use of the contact data in our imprint for commercial advertising is expressly not desired unless we have given our prior written consent or a business relationship already exists.

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