If there's one great thing about IKEA apart from the interesting snack food, it is the possibilties of hacking so many of their products. From using photo frames as cheap enclsoures right through to hacking up their variety of lamps - each trek through their ambulatory puzzle stimulates the imagination. One great example of this has been documented by technical researcher David Bliss who converted an IKEA pendant lamp into an object that could resemble a "Death Star".
The enclosure of the lamp is a sphere, however it is divided up into smaller pieces that can expand and separate from the centre point. By adding an Arduino-controlled stepper motor to this mechanism, the sphere can be opended and closed at will. With the addition of RGB LEDs, some amazing lighting effects can also be created. Check out the video for a demonstration of the lamp - if you skip through you can see it open and close:
If you're looking into this type of project and need to control a stepper motor with your Arduino or compatible, check out our HBRIDGE: DC/stepper motor shield. Based around the powerful Allegro A4954 H-bridge driver IC you can control two DC motors with complete ease, or one bipolar stepper motor. With connections for external power management, a complete beginners' guide and documentation - motor control couldn't be any easier. For more information and to order, visit the HBRIDGE: page.