We can’t wait for a time when robots will serve us breakfast in bed, but in the meantime we will embrace Lucy, a robotic sunlight reflector. Designed by San Diego based start-up Solenica, this cool looking device is an intelligent, solar-powered mirror that follows the sun throughout the day and reflects sunlight in the gloomiest corner of your home. It’s perfect for climates with a scarcity of daylight or long winter months. But even if you live in ever-sunny SoCal, you might want to add an extra pop of sunshine.
Place the orb in a spot (inside or outside) where it can catch some rays, then point it in the direction you want to illuminate. You can also set the desired point via your smartphone. Through an algorithm based on a photosensor, Lucy automatically follows the movement of the sun and delivers up to 7,000 lumens of natural light. Thus one could save energy by keeping lamps turned off.
Lucy was invented by Diva Tommei, the CEO of Solenica, when she attended Cambridge University to work on her PhD in Bioinformatics. The lack of sunlight there made her develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression related to changes in seasons.
Aside from bringing a healthy does of sunlight into your home, Lucy is an object of minimalist beauty and, so says Solenica, “a single installation of the device can reduce a user’s carbon footprint by up to one ton per year.” Being powered by photovoltaic (solar) cells, it requires no electricity and is an attractive, self-contained sphere without ugly cables or wires that would distract from its globe-like Italian design.
Solenica works on devising smart lighting solutions. Their mission is the “empowerment of happiness and health through design and technology.” They were chosen to join the first Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, along with nine other startups, to receive assistance in growing their robotics. Lucy ($199) is available for pre-order.