One of my other realities is the Universität der Künste (UdK) in Berlin. I am working there as an system administrator and academic assistant. Today was the last day of the semester usually celebrated with an open day known as Rundgang. Walking around, I discovered some interesting projects.
I specially liked an installation called Atzert Baby by Juliane Schulz and Julia Dreyling. The girls‘ project is obviously inspired by Pixar‘s great first animated short movie Luxo Jr.. The girls took a real table lamp, bought some cheap electronics, added some motors and made the lamp‘s movements controllable. You might want to watch a short movie clip of Atzert Baby in action (MPEG-4, 9 seconds, 420 KB— urgh, this server does not provide the correct MIME type, please save the file first ) to get an idea.
A graphical user interface allows to control the motors, pre-recording and playback of movements making the little lamp a funny little toy. The mechanics are controlled by a programmable microcontroller system called Basic Stamp, which seems to be quite popular at UdK as it is easy to program, comparably cheap and provides lots of options what to attach (sensors, dimmers etc.).
Best of all: the ligh bulb itself can be dimmed by the computer as well. Imagine a field of these lamps dancing and blinking along. Yummy.