About five years ago, I made a sculture called ‘light bulb’ – a wirelessly powered, levitating lightbulb. Check the video for details.
When Gill Pratt came onto Time Warp for us to study electromagnetic induction, an assistant friend of his came by, Adam who works at DEKA. He told me in an offhand comment, ‘you made the lightbulb, right? Oh cool, we made one of those at DEKA for Dean Kamen as a birthday gift.’ Whaa?
So, after communicating back and forth for quite some time about being able to see it, I was able to visit DEKA and check it out; what I saw blew my mind. About 12 of these extremely talented designers and engineers had spent several months building one of these things. The scale is pretty magnificent, as shown below. It’s basically the same concept as mine, but with the added resources they built a custom [no straight edges!] wood frame, better wireless power transmission efficiency [a brighter bulb], and even a cleaner and more stable levitating bulb. Some pictures linked – ridiculous right?
I am currently in talks with them about continuing development on this project – the goal is still [as it has been for quite some time] to release an open-source kit-able version of this project. People will be able to buy a built version, or an unbuilt version, to learn more about how it works – there are some real engineering challenges however [many parts, high complexity, some high voltages that you need to know what you’re doing with, etc] – so it’s slow going. So for now, here’s this!
I want to thank all the folks at DEKA for the honor of having a piece made like this [not that it’s for me!] – and here’s to hoping that in the spirit of learning and giving to others we can figure out a way to get these things into the public.