Now this is what I call “intelligent lighting”: The Personal Robots group at the MIT Media Lab has developed the prototype AUR: a Robotic Desk Lamp. With full motion robotic arm, color changing light source and mechanical iris as a winking/blinking “eye”, this has to be the most, umm, expressive desk lamp since Pixar’s Luxo Jr.
According the website, they developed the lamp/robot to “evoke a personal relationship with the human partner without resorting to creature-like features such as eyes, limbs, or a mouth…by retaining the lamp’s ‘objectness’, we hope to explore the relationship that can be maintained between a human and an object through abstract gestures and nonverbal behavior alone.”
We’re going to file this under “What happened to the future?”, right next to the flying cars and unlimited free electricity. How cool would this be to have an animated lamp sitting next to your computer, who could provide some companionship and “ambient information” to you throughout the work day?
images from MIT Media Lab Personal Robots Group