By Evan Ackerman
It’s pretty clear, from a commercial point of view, what the next generation of personal robots is going to be all about, and the answer is transparency. When I say “transparent,” I don’t mean invisible robots (however cool that might be)… I’m talking about robots like the Roomba, which are designed to make our lives easier without us actively noticing that they are doing so… You just notice every once and a while that your carpet is cleaner. The AUR is to desk lamps what the Roomba is to vacuum cleaners: it’s smart enough that ideally, you never notice that it’s helping you out.
The AUR robotic desk lamp is currently in the prototype phase and information on its specific capabilities is scant, but from the video below, it looks to be able to tell where the user is, and adjust its position and intensity to afford the best lighting on the working surface. It can tell when to turn on and off, and also has some sort of seek mode where it can help you find things around your desk. Now, am I the only one who thinks this thing looks uncannily like Max from the 1986 Disney sci-fi classic Flight Of The Navigator? Since the video of AUR in action didn’t come with a soundtrack, I mixed in the theme from Flight Of The Navigator (which actually syncs up pretty well); mute the video if you’re not a fan of nostalgic 80s synth: