Posted on Sep 19, 2011

The Most Useless Machine

I always wanted to build my own useless machine after seeing the original posted on instructables and I admit I really really wanted to buy the kit from Solarbotics at Maker Faire this year. As always, I had to give it my own spin. I used the classic red safety switch in an earlier project, and I remember receiving a lot of requests for a box with just a light up version. I guess the idea of having a final countdown switch on your desk is a universal dream for some of us.

I pretty much followed the instructable below with one adjustment. Since the red safety switch from Radio Shack only comes in SPST, I had to find another way to reverse the DC motor. Simple, I just added a DPDT switch to the circuit. The most difficult part was using the ShapeLock to mold the servo arm and fitting everything securely in the box.

I love this project! The reactions are priceless!


Build-your-own Useless Machine Kit

The Original Most Useless Machine

How to modify a servo motor for continuous rotation

ShapeLock: Quick plastic prototyping


  • Qbikii says:

    Where’s my end of the world ultimatum???? I demand satisfaction!! =P Imagine if that switch was the actual device in president’s launch-all-nukes suitcase…..peace preserved through engineered innovation. Cool box!

  • rotten777 says:

    Ha! that’s great! Tell me you mounted it on your wall in your house somewhere and told people never to touch it

    • digitaljoven says:

      It actually sits at my office as a constant reminder to have fun! =) I do love the idea of this on my wall though… a possible idea is to do this with a light switch!!! haha Thanks for the comment!