This AI Task Light Will Be a Handy Addition to Your Workspace

Henry Gao's lamp uses a USB camera with object detection to track and follow your hand automatically.

One might say that asking an assistant to “hold my light” when working is a time-honored tradition. Harry Gao, however, has an alternative to this practice in the form of his 3D-printed, hand-following AI task lamp.

This unique light was inspired by a minimalist Dyson lighting fixture, but instead of manual adjustment, Gao built a similar unit that moves on its own. His project utilizes 3D-printed parts and lengths of aluminum extrusion to hold the light out as needed. A pair of 28BYJ-48 stepper motors with ULN2003 drivers allow it to rotate and extend automatically.

The system is based on an Arduino Nano, along with an Arducam USB camera connected to a PC. A control program uses Python image processing to determine hand position and commands the Arduino over serial to directly actuate the lamp in response. A simple computer user interface tells whether or not it to follow Gao’s hand, and it can turn the light on and off. Video feedback is also available, which would be handy for troubleshooting purposes and just to observe it as it follows the action.

A demo of the task light, as well as assembly details, are shown in the video below. Code and STL files can be found on GitHub if you’d like to make your own!

Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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