We're big fans of useless machines around here: those boxes with one or more switches, that, when toggled, trigger some kind of arm that pops out and puts the switch back in the off position, before retreating to the inside of the box.
Earlier this week, Mark posted a fancy Useless Machine that had all sorts of exciting behaviors when you turned it on. But I think I prefer the
Useless machine advanced edition, with its many switches and prodding metal fingers, built from organs harvested from a donor printer. — Read the rest
A couple of years ago I was on The Colbert Report showing some fun projects from MAKE, and Stephen fell in love with a project called "The Most Useless Machine." (Watch the episode here.) The Most Useless Machine is a box that shuts itself off when you turn it on. — Read the rest
Here's a new wrinkle on the Most Useless Machine (a box with a single switch, which, when toggled, causes a mechanical finger to leap out of the box and switch it off). After a certain number of duelling on-off cycles, this jolly Most Useless iteration does something VERY EXCITING! — Read the rest
Here's an amusing metaphor for polarized US politics: take two Useless Machines (a box with a switch: when you press the switch, a hand shoots out of the box and switches it off again) and daisy-chain them so they battle to switch one another off. — Read the rest
YouTube user Invisibules recreated Minsky and Shannon's "Most Useless Machine" (a box with a switch on it; switch it on and a hand emerges from the box and flips the switch to off) using Lego: 'The hardest part was probably getting the flap to operate easily and smoothly, and to open and close at the correct parts of the cycle. — Read the rest
Joseph Herscher of Joseph's Machines has outdone himself with his latest machine. It's an incredibly complex Rube Goldberg machine that took him three months to make called "The Cake Server" and it does just that… serve cake. The "cherry on top" is literally a cherry on top. — Read the rest