So many useless machines are built, why building another one? Simply, it is really fun :), fun to build and fun to play with.

I tried to give this version a character, as I always felt there is somebody  "thinking inside the box", so here I tried, I hope I succeeded to give "her" a life!

I am really happy to share with you all the steps, with all hopes that you will be easily building yours and giving it a bitter or better character! My version is based on Arduino, you may think it is an overkill, but given the flexibility it gave me, I think it is worth it.

Here is a video of everything  put all together. Later, we will move into the parts, steps, schematics and code

Let me know your comments and/or questions if any.

Hope you enjoy!

Step 1: How It Works?

Everything is connected to an Arduino board, the board waits till the switch is set to logic HIGH , that is, when you flick the switch, the board signals two servo motors to move in a specific way (more on that later), after which, the servo connected to the "hand" will flick the switch back to OFF-position, and return back into the box, followed by the "door" servo. then everything repeats.

If you saw the above video, each time the switch is toggled, the machine responds in a different way, and this is done by simply writing different functions with different timings in the Arduino code, (I am calling them "Moves"). Each time the switch is toggled, I am calling a new move until all are done, I start over. note that in step 9, I provided another version of the code that picks random moves instead of sequential. You can add as many moves as you want, as long you have enough memory on the Arduino.

The Arduino is always ON, this is why I added a switch for the battery to save some power when the machine is not in use. I am already planning to use an interrupt on the switch, instead of the current simple HIGH/LOW detection, and coupling it with sleep mode. This shall save power when the machine is not in use ,and also allowing it to be always ready (but this will also complicate the code) So, for now, it is just a simple ON/OFF switch, and the board is always powered.
<p>Thanks for this! I made my first Arduino project based on this instructable: a useless dragon!</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/LH0Lt-SLcoc" width="500"></iframe></p>
<p>Your dragon machine is awesome. !!! Artistic</p>
<p>You are awesome :) !!!</p><p>Great personality for a Dragon! I wish you can redo the video while having the dragon directly facing the camera (top-view), I feel this will be hilarious, so see the tongue sneaking<span style="font-size: 15.0px;"> out!</span></p><p>Thanks for sharing your video and glad my i'able has helped</p>
<p>I tried top view in an earlier stage but it didn't work (saw too much of the messy insides) so I dismissed it when I took this video. I think you are right though: in the final stage it would've looked great! Unfortunately I already gave the dragon away... So on to the next project!</p>
Code helped a lot. Thanks
<p>AWESOME!! :) would be great if you an post a video too :)</p>
Very fun! hard job fixing the servos and design the hand. Thanks for this instructable!
<p>Great work man! really nice :) any video?</p>
Watch the video on it first then laugh you ass off
<p>I know I did ! :D </p>
Super cool the video made it seem like it had a mind of its own<br>
My useless machine with arduino and riachis code! Made into a tardis from Dr.who. :) <br> <br>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDs0T52o6-M
LOVE IT!!!! :)) really well done man, so happy to see your bombbox alive! I also the dramatization and the music :p just can't stop myself to suggest 3 small modifications if i may:)? <br> <br>- it would be great to put the machine in standing position, i know that this will make lose the help of gravity to close the door, but a simple solution is to put 2 rubber bands attached to the inside of the door on one side and to the inner side of the box for the other end, this will make the door close when the door servo is closing...check my build steps,you will see the rubber band in Step 6... <br> <br>- also what about painting the hands in black, it will be more sneaky and slick <br>! Also the hand tip can be painted in bloody red or decorated with a crazy face or something like that.. <br> <br>- remove the last move as nothing happens in it(supposed to be the one the moves the box) and write your own move... <br> <br>Nevertheless, forget the suggestions,i loved your machineeee! And thanks for the so many thanks man, please you can reduce them and keep the video focused on the machine :) <br> <br>Hope your gf liked it!
Hahah Thank you for the compliments :) I actually wanted to do much more to it but because of the time crunch I couldn't fit in a lot of the details i wanted to. I would like to add some color to the arms but didn't have time for those. And I wanted to draw a face on the arm with a sharpie but its already wrapped up and ready to give to her for Christmas. Hehehe. I think she'll love it. I also did want to have it stand up but was afraid the rubber bands would put too much weight on the servos. The door is already pretty heavy. The last move I kept because it keeps you in suspense waiting for it to pop out. Hahaha but I appreciate all the help my friend! Definitely worth it!
This I have to make...it's awesome
This is the first project I've seen using an Arduino where I thought, &quot;Yeah, that's worth it. Now I have to get one.&quot; Fantastic job!
Wow, awesome take on a common project! Love your spin on making it more interesting!
One man's useless device is another's totally awesome, out of this world, we'll thought out, fun to have, coveted by many, useless device. Thanks for your updates to the project. Thanks for posting.
Thought 1: Using an Arduino for this is just ridiculous overkill <br>Thought 2: After watching the video-Using an Arduino for this is just pure genius! <br> <br>I bow down to your creativity!
Thats seriously great! Kind of reminds me of a Wall-E personality. Thanks for such a great project!
Truly useless! Nice 'ible. I'm inspired and need to build one for my desk. Thanks.
PLEASE TAKE MY MONEY <br>i realy realy want that thing
Glad I watched the video to the end. It was already entertaining, but the twist was brilliant.
Ha, i nearly pissed my self watching the vid! <br>Got some personality. <br>Way cool, well done. <br>
Finally! A Christmas present my in-laws will enjoy! I love thus!
Best useless machine I've seen! It is on my build list... for sure! I have lots of RC stuff, so all I need is an arduino now :) <br> <br>thanks for sharing!
fantastic! <br>
So awesome!
This is useless... <br>I like it !! ^.^ <br>nice job, like how you make it &quot;come to life&quot;
This is awesome. Can't wait to see all your improvements and (maybe) a new video. This is a great candidate for a halloween candy bowl... thingiee! Instead of physical switch, a photo resistor to detect candy removal. KEWL.... keep it up!
go for it chaosrob! let me know if i can help!
Cool. Very creative adding the &quot;taunting&quot; and &quot;side&quot; moves. You have inspired me to add this to my list of projects . Thanks for posting and sharing.
Please let me know when you build yours! thanks
I like the personality! Very funny
<p>Hi Riachi,</p><p>I'm attempting this very nice build as my first 'proper' arduino project -- just the simple version (no fancy motion sensors or movement). Everything now good with the electronics, but...</p><p>The first cheap servos i used (TowerProSG90) just didn't have the strength to throw the switch (and the switch doesn't offer a lot of resistance). These servos worked well driven off the USB port, or with a pack of 4AA batteries.</p><p>So i upgraded my servos to Proster MG 996R. This had two bad effects:</p><p>(i) With the SG90, the switch didn't actually need to be thrown to complete the &quot;switch-off&quot; cycle -- very handy while testing. But with the MG996R, everything keeps cycling until the switch is actually turn off. This seems pretty weird to me -- i don't understand why just switching servos should do this.</p><p>(ii) Works okay off the USB port, but just nothing with the 4xAA battery pack, nor with a 9V battery.</p><p>I know these are very vague observations, but I wondered if you had any comments that might help me make progress -- i'd really like to avoid buying a super expensive battery if possible (my original budget was 30 euros and i've already completely blown that!).</p><p>Thanks (for your attention and for the project)</p><p>ian</p>
<p>Hello <a href="https://www.instructables.com/member/riachi/" rel="nofollow">riachi</a></p><p>Thank you so much for your great tutorial.<br>I have trouble in my useless machine. My servo can't turn off the switch. How can increase the power?( I am using MG9S right now)</p>
<p>I'm using an SG90 which is the plastic version of your one, I had the same problem. I don't think you can increase the power but you can make the switch easier to toggle by opening it and heating the spring inside. </p>
<p>Thank you so much! Fun project.</p>
<p>Hey!<br>I found a servo with Stall Torque 1.5kg/cm (5V).<br>Can I use it?</p>
<p>Hello from Sweden and Thank You for i nice build.</p><p>Im not very good with Arduino and was wondering if a Arduino Nono will work with this project ??</p>
Could you please explain about the switch. I really dont know how to do it.
<p>Hi !!! I from france and I would to build this amazing useless box without the motor shield. Is my schema correct ? thanks if you read this </p>
<p>having issues and i think its my switch.. i need an on/off or on/on 3 prong? and not sure where to add debounce in code</p>
<p>Got an arduino board to try this, and after 3 hours of trying to upload code to it, I quit. Wasted a decent amount on cash to try and build this. -.-</p>
<p>I'm not savvy with electronics. Is that resistor &quot;10k Ohm Resistor, 1/4 W, 5%&quot;</p>
<p>So cool! I couldn't stop laughing when it moved to the side! </p>
<p>Hi Riachi,</p><p>I would like to build this useless thing too as it looks great. </p><p>I'm going over my old RC stuff I have lying around and found two servo's (S3003). There is one problem: They only have two wires while yours has 3...</p><p>I took one of the servo's apart to have a look inside to see if I can figure out where to connect this third wire. There is no electronics inside. Besides the 2-wire motor (duh).</p><p>Will it be possible to use them or should I be looking for 3-wire servo's?</p><p>Regards,<br>Werner</p>

About This Instructable




More by riachi:OiO - a desk lamp that has a soul  How to control "stuff" from your PC How to revive an old radio: the easy honest cheat! 
Add instructable to: