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Pinokio Lamp

Tip from Delerious in the Adafruit Forums, the Arduino-based Pinokio Lamp project from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand!

Pinokio
– lamp, robot, friend?

Pinokio comes in the form of a humble desk lamp, yet it redefines our experience of a lamp, a robot, or a computer algorithm. Pinokio the lamp is imbued with the ability to be aware of its environment, especially people, and to express a dynamic range of behaviors. As it negotiates its world, through the synthesis of the algorithm, electronic circuit and structural modifications; we the human audience can see that Pinokio shares many traits possessed by animals, generating a range of emotional sympathies.

We are here to raise the questions: “What if an industrial object is created not as an obedient tool, but to live? What if an algorithm utilises user input to gain awareness of a situation, rather than being controlled?” We therefore created this robotic computing project to explore the potential of a “living algorithm”.

Pinokio is by no means the most intelligent and self-sustaining entity. Nevertheless, we believe it is the expressive and behavioral qualities that makes Pinokio come alive. Just like Pinocchio the puppet who comes to life and confidently proclaims “I’m a real boy” – it is the irrepressible and seemingly instinctive impulse of living for its own sake in Pinokio that shines forth in poetry and magic.

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