Tag Archives: OpenCV

Lamp changes color based on emotions

The Mood Lamp is an Arduino-based project created by Italian developer Vittorio Cuculo. As the name suggests, the hacked IKEA lamp adjusts its lighting output based on the facial expression of a user. 


According to Cuculo, the Mood Lamp attempts to redefine the classic human-machine interface with a more natural system built around gestures, gaze tracking and facial expressions. As the Maker’s paper explains,  facial expressions are “particularly relevant because they play‘a fundamental role in nonverbal communication between human beings.”

The Mood Lamp is powered by OpenCV (software) and the Arduino Duemilanove, an older board based on Atmel’s ATmega168 or ATmega328.The board is loaded with 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button.

Watch the video below as the lamp’s color corresponds with varying emotions — turning blue when it registers a frown, pink with a smile, blue for a ‘surprised’ expression.

Interested in learning more about this project? Read Vittorio Cuculo’s entire paper here.


Video: Confectionery cannon fires…

A team of engineers at Olin College in Needham (Massachusetts) have created an Arduino-powered “confectionery canon” designed to track targets before launching a… marshmallow!

“To control our mechanical and pneumatic system we developed a robust electrical system,” the engineering team explained on the project’s official page.

“We use a custom protoshield on our [Atmel-based] Arduino to connect and control our four servos – and we trigger our pneumatic launcher by controlling a solenoid on a sprinkler valve.”

Face tracking technology for target acquisition? OpenCV for Python and motor actuation via serial communication between Python and Arduino.

The total cost? $250, with the entire platform designed using SolidWorks and tools offered at the school, including laser-cutting technology to construct specific pieces of the platform.

“Most of the parts are acrylic, which we chose primarily for its cost and ease of laser-cutting,” the team added. “Acrylic isn’t very strong and is quite brittle, but it’s less than a third the cost of acetyl (Delrin). The three aluminium parts were made from shop scrap.”

The confectionery cannon was designed by Forrest Bourke (’16, ECE), Saarth Mehrotra (’16, ECE), Michael Searing (’16, MechE) and Elliot Wyse (’15, MechE).

Interested in learning more about the confectionery cannon? You can check out the project’s official page here and additional coverage on Boston Magazine here.