Cal student makes “ridiculously automated dorm”

UC Berkeley student Derek Low is nothing if not inventive. A few months ago Low set out to make his Berkeley dorm room as fully automated as possible. The result, as you can see in the video he uploaded to YouTube yesterday, is BRAD: the Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm.

Through remote controlled lighting and curtains, Low’s room manages to wake him up, put him to sleep and provide the right ambiance for homework and even romance. Its “party mode” is particularly impressive.

Low’s tech career started early. Six years ago, the self-described computer fanatic launched an online science and technology playground with his friend Shaun in the UK. Called Laboratory Home (the “product of an overly impulsive teenager”), it documents the pair’s homespun experiments, which run the gamut from pyrotechnics through lasers and chemistry. We’re hoping that his recipe for ballistic gel doesn’t actually produce the real thing.

In addition to being a talented engineer, it appears Low, who grew up in Singapore, is also supremely well traveled. On his tongue-in-cheek website Where’s Derek? (as in “Where’s Waldo?) he pops up in Shanghai, most of Europe and Thailand, among others. His latest recorded count is 211 cities in 33 countries.


Attempts to contact Low have so far proved unsuccessful — but then we’re not really surprised: this is one busy guy.

We know of course that UC Berkeley students are a cut above, but Low is a hard act to follow.

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