Pixar’s Lamp Character Recreated Into a Life-Like Bot

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News Posted: Sun, Dec 2 2012 11:33 AM
Yes, it's true machines pose a serious threat of human extinction (a group of Cambridge researchers thinks so, anyway), but they're so darn adorable, which is what might ultimately be our downfall. Until then, you might as well enjoy what our mechanical creations have to offer, like the real-life Pixar lamp that swings around and doesn't like to be turned off.

The lamp's actual name is Pinokio and it was build by Victoria University of Wellington students. It wields a webcam, 6 servos, and an Arduino processor.


"Pinokio is an exploration into the expressive and behavioral potentials of robotic computing. Customized computer code and electronic circuit design imbues Lamp with the ability to be aware of its environment, especially people, and to expresses a dynamic range of behavior," its creators explain. "As it negotiates its world, we the human audience can see that Lamp shares many traits possessed by animals, generating a range of emotional sympathies. In the end we may ask: Is Pinokio only a lamp? – a useful machine? Perhaps we should put the book aside and meet a new friend."

The best part of the video (embedded above) is when Lamp turns itself back on by flicking its own switch after repeated attempts to turn it off. It's also a little frightening, depending on the context, no?
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I for one welcome our new adorable lamp overlords.

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Haha, this would be an awesome lamp to have on the desk.  Even better to scare the kid's with.

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OSunday replied on Sun, Dec 2 2012 10:04 PM

That's a cool little concept and it's great to see some of Pixar's genius almost "brought to life" but it's really no big advancement or development in emulating emotion or embodying human characteristics... it just mimics them with pre-programmed actions and commands :(

Still a cool concept though!

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sackyhack replied on Sun, Dec 2 2012 11:04 PM

As useless as it may seem, this sort of approachable cutesy thing might really help more kids get interested robotics. Sort of like the Lego Mindstorms and how it serves as a gateway drug into the field.

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