Spring 2016


Class Project


Interactive Prototyping, Industrial Design



When in the living room, it is easy for people to remain stagnant for a long period of time (watching television, reading a novel, etc).

Material Usage and Preparation

Building the House

Final Code and Deliverables

Motion-Detecting Lamp


Molight is a lamp that turns on according to your location, then signals you to move by flashing all four lights until it detects you in a new area. The consequential intention of the lamp is to encourage those who are stagnant to get up and move, rather than sit in a single place for many hours. This project was created by another student, Logan Quinn, and me.


This lamp is a quirky solution to the issue around in-home lack of exercise. We decided to create a lamp that turns on based on the user's location, and then every hour flickers around quickly until it sees the user in a new area.

Using an arduino, we first began to test out our codes on small lights. We knew that we wanted to use multiple lights, and needed each light to be connected to a particular personal infrared sensor (or motion-tracking sensor). We used Processing to write the basic code.



For our lamp, we wanted to use passive infrared sensors to detect where a person is in a room and then use that information to power the light bulb closest to them. We also wanted to start a timer that after one hour triggers a new behavior which signals to the person that they need to move. Below is the basic structure of the necessary logic.



Check each sensor

If(sensor is active) {

         Light that zone

         Start timer

         Turn off other zones

} else {

         turn zone off


if(timer expired) {

         flash lights until person moves to other zone



Once we had all of the code written and the technical elements working, it became necessary to imagine how the pieces would be housed in a lamp. We realized an existing lamp wouldn't work, as we needed four bulbs and a system that allowed for a separation of four separate parts of a room. We realized that in order to make our lamp exactly as we intended, we would have to laser cut out pieces of acrylic.


After the rough sketches of the final design solution, I drew out all the necessary pieces for cutting in Illustrator, and then used a laser-cutter to cut 1/4 inch thick acrylic. This project required both an understanding of purely technical and code-based logic and an awareness of how that logic might actually manifest in the physical space.


On the left is the final code used for the lamp, powered by an arduino (which was powered by a battery). The code both allowed the lights to turn on based on location and keeps track of time while not moving.


Working with Logan to create Molight was an engagement in further understanding the inter-sectionality between industrial design, engineering, and interaction design. Our final deliverable was entirely created by the two of us; neither of us industrial designers or masters in coding; so we felt successful as the project allowed us to further develop abilities in both spheres of knowledge.