Half Ive, Half Rorschach, Behold The Ferromagnetic Lava Lamp!

If you’re obsessed with ferromagnetic fluid–and hey, who wouldn’t be?–it’s a good time to be alive.

The Ferroflow is an interactive desktop sculpture by designer Matt Robinson, who describes it as a modern-day, high-tech lava lamp. Like a lava lamp, it’s filled with a suspended liquid, which bubbles up in response to electromagnetic currents. That liquid is ferromagnetic fluid, a magnetic liquid invented by NASA in the 1960s. When you touch the Ferroflow, the ferromagnetic fluid starts bubbling around; touch it again to shut it off. A dial on the front, meanwhile, allows you to adjust and manipulate the liquid.

We’ve seen some designs that leverage ferromagnetism in their designs before, but they’ve always been expensive. The Ferroflow, however, manages to achieve its effect on a budget, by eschewing traditional electrromagnets for grade n52 rare earth magnets. Although significantly cheaper, these rare earth magnets are still strong enough to create the necessary magnetic field to move the ferrofluid blobs inside the sculpture.

Crafted out of anodized aluminum, the Ferroflow isn’t some one-off sculpture. It’s actually going to be available for sale. Robinson plans on launching the Ferroflow on Kickstarter next Tuesday. If you’ve always wanted a lava lamp that looks like the result of a collaboration between Hermann Rorschach and Jony Ive, the Ferroflow will be right up your alley.

[via io9]