Possibly the most famous of Pixar shorts was the one that inspired the branding of the company itself. Of course I am talking about Luxor Junior!
Thanks to the success of this short film, there is now an iconic bouncing lamp in Pixar’s logo.
Although it’s not the same colour, it is quite easy to see where the inspiration came from for this next project. Using a lamp, 6 servo motors, a webcam and an Arduino, this maker has produced a working version of Luxor Junior.
Once the lamp is turned on, it comes to life with full motion. Using it’s in-built webcam it utilises face tracking and watches your every move. In the video below, you can see how in interacts with the innocent reader.
It’s funny to watch the many attempts to turn the lamp off. Once the lamp has come to life, it really doesn’t want to be switched off!
While this is an entertaining video, we shouldn’t dismiss what was involved to make it.
The lamp was first modeled to decide the best mechanical hinges to use for such movement. You can see they made the first tactile models using paper, before producing the CAD drawings.
At various times in the video the lamp extends itself quite far forward and so the balance had to be carefully considered. They managed this by using a 20kg steel block for the base!
Using a CAD system the parts were designed and later laser cut.
The attention to detail doesn’t stop at the mechanics of the frame, but even extends to an iris for the lamp. The iris can be opened and closed to focus the light as required and can even blink as you and I would.
This is an especially nice touch as like with Pixar who is famous for making objects seem to have a human touch to them, the iris also gives it character.
I recommend you continue to the project site to see more about the project goals and the steps they went through to produce this. This is a great project with a very nice final result!
Project page -
Some more behind the scenes -
If you haven’t seen Luxor Junior before, continue before for the original 1986 short -