Friday, April 18, 2008

Motion Detectors don't like Paper Airplanes

On a related note to my recent Lights up my World post, we have a motion detector in our lab that turns off some of the overhead lights when no motion has been detected for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately for me, it only detects movement in half the room, with my desk being on the far end of the other half. So if I'm in there by myself, it gets really annoying, really quickly. Luckily, I have that new desk lamp that I can sit with as my primary light source (assuming most of the overhead lights are on) for a little while. Usually that little while is just long enough before I want to move anyway, meaning I can go set off the motion detector. I used to get up every 15 minutes, walk halfway across the room, and then go sit back down, and repeat....

Another one of my lab mates is also in the uncovered area of the lab, and we've been the only ones in the lab a number of times in the past two weeks. We started devising mechanisms to trigger the motion detector without having to move from our cubicles. I created a fabulous paper airplane that flew into the detected zone...and then did not activate the motion detector. We tried waving around my poster carrier tube as well. We also seriously considered tying something to the ceiling tiles with a rope ending at my labmate's cube so that if he pulled on it the movement of the object would turn the lights back on. Alas, we had not rope. So we just made any visitors walk in and out of the other door instead of the one closest to our cubes, causing them to set off the motion detector each time.

See, grad school can be entertaining! Really!

No comments: