Tag Archives: Vittorio Cuculo

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.