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Useless Machine

Today I built a useless machine:   It’s a machine which has one function. When you turn it on, it simply turns it’s self off. It was developed by A.I. professor Marvin Minsky (now at M.I.T.) while he was a graduate student at Bell Labs in 1952. Many people have built them, this one is based […]

Today I built a useless machine:  

It’s a machine which has one function. When you turn it on, it simply turns it’s self off. It was developed by A.I. professor Marvin Minsky (now at M.I.T.) while he was a graduate student at Bell Labs in 1952. useless machine picture Many people have built them, this one is based on the instructions from instructables but with a few minor changes, mainly to work with wood. If you want to build your own in this style, here is the laser cutter template I used for 3mm thick wood: TheCutWood3mm.

The template was modified from the perspex version from SolarBotics and is open source. As for parts, the shop over at FrivolousEngineering.com seems to be closed, so I used parts simular to these:

You might need to adjust the laser template a little maybe depending on the switches and hinges you find, but the one I modified above worked fine for me for this simple project.

As for the wiring, it needs to be as stated in the PDF over at SolarBotics. The one I built above doesn’t have a timer or anything, but the instructables instructions show you how if you want something a little less vicious! But bear in mind they use a servo motor for that. Let me know if you build one, I see more complex versions around the web, and really like the concept.

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