Dutch artist presents solar powered appliances that double as companions  

Solar power and robots may seem like unlikely bedfellows, but there seems to be something in the air lately.

Dutch designer Bob de Graaf has unveiled a creative engineering project titled, “Species of Illumination” comprising of two indoor lamps capable of imitating real life household companions with their simulated autonomy.

Sure to delight some and terrify others, the devices respond to human movement in a domesticated, pet-like manner. Nicknamed “Wallace” the desk lamp features wheels allowing it to be perfectly positioned with a simple hand gesture. “Darwin” on the other hand drops from the ceiling like a snake in a tree, unlike Wallace who wouldn’t look out of place in a Pixar movie, I can see Darwin startling you as you awake from a deep slumber when it all goes wrong and the machines take over civilisation.

Speaking of his creations, de Graaf says, “Wallace responds to changes in light intensity in its environment and brings light to the darkest corners. Darwin searches for sunlight to charge its battery during the daytime, and in the evening wanders around the house, ‘accompanying’ us with its light. The interaction and emotional relationship they bring contribute to our well being. They behave like pets. They are lively lights you can play with.”

If no human instructions are detected the lamps will seek out the darkest areas of the room hoping to illuminate them with their energy efficient light bulbs, using solar power to redistribute natural light in an intelligent way.

Another Dutch artist recently grabbed people attention, again by combining renewable energy and machinery, in the form of sand-walking beasts powered only by mighty gusts of wind.

If you’ve always wanted some artificial friends to help you pretend that you are Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man these lamps seem like a good place to start.