Ridiculously Automated Dorm: Berkeley Freshman Creates Geek Paradise

A “ridiculously automated” dorm room, created by imaginative Berkeley freshman Derek Low has created a national sensation, as well as a notification from his resident hall officials to appear at a judicial hearing.

Low first imagined his idea for the BRAD (Berkeley’s Ridiculously Automated Dorm” several years ago, when he stumbled across another student’s version. He states that incredibly tolerant roommates, along with about $200 to $300 of off-the-shelf equipment made way for the geek paradise, which boasts automatic curtains, voice-activated lights, and even an emergency “party room” mood.

When speaking about the project, Derek stated that:

“Most of BRAD was simply easy and straightforward, as long as you’re resourceful. It took me the most time to get the voice recognition to work, and implement a setup for automating the curtains.”

Low, born in Singapore, first began building inventions like the ridiculously automated dorm when he was 16.

Other inventions include a computer submerged in oil, and the less-building-friendly do-it-yourself flamethrower. The Cal Berkeley freshman told InnovationNewsDaily that:

“I do have the most supportive parents in the world, but sometimes they do knock some sense into me when I go overboard with these experiments and projects (which can be very, very costly).”

Derek posted a video online of BRAD, which includes an app that works on his iPhone and iPad, as well as voice recognition on his Macbook Air laptop, which can control the lights in the room. Different modes include homework, sleep, and romantic, which dims the lights, turns on a softly lit disco ball, and cue’s Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (which may or may not actually attract impress the opposite sex).

The university, however, is not as impressed as fellow geeks, or even news sources who think the BRAD could be a sneak peak into the future of smart homes. Low says, though, that he already has a solution to a student judicial hearing regarding his smart room. He stated:

“I’m moving out the dorms in two weeks and moving the entire setup to my own apartment. The whole system is quite mobile, actually, so that won’t be too difficult.”

What do you think of Berkeley freshman Derek Low’s ridiculously automated dorm room?

Check out the video below to see BRAD in action, and click here to see Derek Low’s homepage for current and past projects.