UC Berkeley whiz kid Derek Low is in a bit of hot water with campus authorities after the video of his renovated and now fully automated dorm room in Griffiths Hall went viral this week. The video shows Low controlling the lights, blinds, music, rotating disco ball and strobe light through voice activation, remote, and computer. He can also probably use his hands — the room is 170 square-feet — but that’s not in the video.

Nearly 600,000 people have already taken a look. If you’re not one of them yet, here it is…

The Contra Costa Times talked to the university, which was less than thrilled:

The university’s housing department was concerned about electrical connections, said spokesman Marty Takimoto, but an electrician found nothing wrong.

Low still needs to appear for [a] hearing, Takimoto said, to explain a website reference to rewiring the room’s light switches — a serious no-no.

Low told the Times “he’s received several offers from UC Berkeley and outside laboratories to research automation and related fields.”

Plus I’ll throw in a hundred bucks if he can just fix the dimmer switch in my living room.

More on the project, including materials used, at Low’s web site. And here’s a report from The Daily Cal.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor for KQED's daily health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED News Fix.

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