In 1986, Pixar introduced its pioneering computer animation technique with a short film whose main star was a perky lamp called Luxo Jr. Not only did the film get nominated for an Academy Award, but Luxo Jr. also became a permanent fixture in the company's logo. Now three students from New Zealand's Wellington University have brought this iconic lamp to life - And, it's even more fun than the animated version.
Created by Adam Ben-Dror, Joss Doggett, and Shanshan Zhou as a project for their Physical Computing class, the Pinokio lamp may look like a conventional lightning device but that, is where the resemblance ends.
That's because that with the help of some imagination, a webcam, Arduino (a microcontroller that can turn devices into interactive electronic objects) and a rotary sensor to track the user's movement, the trio have transformed an off-the shelf ordinary desk lamp into a fun toy that can sense noises, recognize faces and even, play peek-a-boo!
The result, as you will see in the video below, is the cutest robot lamp that can keep the owner entertained for hours. However, be careful before you turn it on, for the one thing Pinokio seems to detest the most, is being put down to sleep!
While the inventors are the first to admit that Pinokio is by no means the most intelligent and self-sustaining entity' ever created, they do point out that its 'irrepressible and seemingly instinctive impulse of living for its own sake' does make it quite unique - We for one totally agree and only wish they would take it out of the classroom and bring it to a store nearby!
Resources: fastcodesign.com, cnet.com, gizmag.com