Week 1: Useless Machines Projects- Toby Nalder & Dom Heyland

Since handing in our first arduino project we have conducted research into what we can make for our end of year project. As we used LED’s in the last one we are planning on using motors to create a more ambitious project, which has greater levels of user experience.

From research we came across videos on YouTube of these ‘leave me alone’ boxes, which turns off a switch after it has been turned on by someone.


Watching these boxes in action is really enjoyable and engaging so wanted to do something similar that we can display in the atrium.

In the video below the arm has different actions controlled by an arduino and code script so that it turns it off in a variety of ways at different speeds making it more fun.

For our project we would like to make something similar but with a slightly different function. One idea was to add a light inside, so it’s as if the arm inside wants to go to sleep but you keep turning on the light in his house. A second idea was to have something that covers a light sensor, which the arm could then come out and take it back into the box as if it was eating something.

Another idea would be also using a light sensor, where something comes out when its dark and the lights are off, but hides away when the lights are off. This could made more appealing by using LED’s as the creatures eyes so people can see them glowing when he’s out of the box.

Image result for pointless machines

A similar idea to the light idea has already been done with a candle and a heat sensor to trigger an arm to put out the candle.

For next week we are going to conduct more research into how these are made and controlled, as well as potentially buying a pre-made model online which we can take apart to see how it works.



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