AKA: The Ultimate Machine!
Get Your Parts Kits and Machines: FrivolousEngineering.com
Update Oct 31, 2012:
Now Available At the Maker Shed
"Weird Al" Yankovic Sez: "I never realized till now how much I needed one of these."
AS SEEN ON TV! Make Magazine's amiable editor-in-chief, Mark Frauenfelder demonstrated The Useless Machine on the Colbert Report!
Useless Machine Featured in Vol 23 of Make Magazine!
Thanks everyone for all the cool comments, suggestions and all the videos! Keep 'em coming.
Step 1: Background
After seeing a video of such a machine I just had to have one of my own.
The only design I could find uses a PIC microcontroller but I consider this to be overkill (not knowing how to write code for micros may have had some influence on my humble opinion...).
Additionally, the microcontroller version really doesn't shut itself off. It's circuit remains powered even when the switch is in the off position.
Knowing a little bit about servos and basic electronics, I felt sure that I could build the machine using a simple analog circuit.
My main goal however was to have the machine REALLY turn itself off.
The machine in THIS instructable accomplishes that!