Lighty:Ultimate Lighting Control Automation System

Lighty system diagram

Lighty system user interface
Japanese researchers developed a unique robotic system which allows them to control lights in a room in unprecedented precision and ease. The system will allow simple to use home automation lighting control for a large number of applications.
Home automation has been expending significantly in recent years. Although some home automation control systems allow users to turn lights on and off and even create pre programmed scenarios that matches users behaviors (watching TV, dining, working in the kitchen etc.) this process is typically fairly complex and not very accurate.
Now, researchers from the University of Tokyo developed what they call an augmented reality based interface which enables users to design an illumination distribution for a real room using an array of computer-controlled lights. They refer to this system as Lighty.
Using a simple interface not dissimilar to an image manipulation software such as Photoshop, it is possible control the distribution of light very precisely. The system uses a camera image of the room used as contour lines for use for the target illumination intensity. The system is interactive and can calculate how different changes effect the lighting in different places inside the room (taking into account furniture.
The researchers have tested Lighty on a small mock up (1/12 scale prototype) but they are ready to take the system into the next level and integrate the system into real size rooms and halls. Lighty might actually have quite a few uses in places with a lot of complex lighting such as museums, theaters, conference halls and even restaurants, bars and cafes (who might want to change the lighting according to the “mood”). Private residences with complex lighting might also be targeted of course.
The Lighty mock up used 12 LED system with 3 degrees of freedom which allowed the system to very accurately control the distribution of light in the room to a level impossible by and other system and controlled by a Wacom tablet with a pen interface.
More information on Lighty can be found on the following document (PDF).
A video created by the researchers explaining Lighty
a Diginfonews video show a prototype of the system and the researchers