Lamp Comes to Life with Ultrasonic Sensors

Fans of the bouncing lamp from the Pixar corporate logo will enjoy [Daniel]’s latest project. It’s a motion controlled desk lamp that uses ultrasonic sensors to control its physical position.

The core of the project is an Arduino and the three ultrasonic sensors. The sensors act as range finders, and when they are all working together under the direction of the microcontroller they can tell which direction a hand was moving when it passed by. This information is used to drive two servos, one in the base and one on the lamp’s arm.

The project requires an articulating desk lamp of some sort (others besides the specific one [Daniel] used shouldn’t be much of a problem as long as they bend in the same way). Most hackers will have the rest of the parts on hand, with the possible exception of the rangefinder. The code is up on the project site for a look-see or in case you want to build your own.

The only problem that [Daniel] had when putting this all together was that the base was a little wobbly. He was able to fix that with some thumbtacks, and we think the next step for the project should be switching the light on and off over the internet.

8 thoughts on “Lamp Comes to Life with Ultrasonic Sensors

    1. I would imagine so; you can see from their video that they are getting pretty horrible results. I don’t really understand the logic of using three ultrasonic sensors anyway, it seems the only gestures they are registering is swiping left and right, they could get much better results with one sensor oriented tangentially with the gesture rather than perpendicular.

  1. Must be the fail of the week?

    Anyway – the idea is good. Mk2 will need some better placement for the sensors to make it possible for the lamp to register the movements the guy in the video tries to use. Mk3 will need some smoother “animation” and then it will rain kudos.

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