The Useless Box




This Instructable teaches you how to make the useless box. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Equipment that you will need:

Hot glue gun

Soldering equipment (Solder, soldering iron, etc)

Screw Driver

Laser cutter (Saw if no laser cutter available)

Materials that you will need:

Standard Servos (

DPDT switch (

Micro switch (

Hinges (

Scrap wood pieces

Acrylic pieces


Step 1: Moding the Servo

Take apart the Servo by unscrewing the 4 screws holding the servo together.

Step 2: Moding the Servo

Use a pair of wire cutters to cut off the 3 wires.

Also cut off the wires from the input connectors.

Step 3: Moding the Servo

Using only 2 of the wires, strip it, and solder them to the connections shown above.

Step 4: Moding the Servo

Open the top side of the Servo and remove the gears

Use a pair of cutters to cut of the plastic tip of the servo, as shown above.

Step 5: Moding the Servo

Also clip of the little nob on the one of the gear , shown above.

Finally, put the servos back together.

Step 6: Wiring the Servo

Solder the battery pack (on the outer pins)

Solder the Servo (middle pins)

Making sure the positives/ negatives are on the same side.

Step 7: Wiring the Servo

Solder a piece of wire from positive wire of the battery (top left) to the empty pin across from it (bottom right).

Solder the micro switch using extra wires to the negative wire of the battery (bottom left) and the empty pin across (top right).

Step 8: Finishing the Servo Arm

Laser cut out a wooden piece of swing arm.

Attach the arm to the servo using screws.

You can make as many as you desire. ( I made 3 in this case)

Step 9: Making the Box

Laser cut out the required pieces to make the box.

And construct it using hot glue or other type of glue

Step 10: Putting It All Together

Attach the Servos to the inside of the box.

Drill holes that align with the arm on the top piece of cover.

Glue in the micro switch so when the arm swing back, it touches the micro switch.

Step 11: Done!!!!

Finally attach the covers using hinges. and you are ready to go!!!!!



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    10 Discussions


    1 year ago

    you want to open it, but the box thinks otherwise! :)


    3 years ago

    This is excellent! I'd love to see a video or a gif of it in action!

    4 replies

    3 years ago

    Shannon was the first to describe the useless box. Today april 30 2016 is his 100th birthday!


    3 years ago

    Not criticizing, but, leaving the servo control electronics, despite clipping the potentiometer shaft, and removing the limit tab from the main drive gear, But isn't the "H" bridge raising any problems with the motors reversing? If you’re going to convert the servos to direct-drive motors, you might as well un-solder the board completely, before connecting the wires to the motor.. and with the board, the whole potentiometer should come loose (Futaba 3xxx models, the potentiometer is just snapped into position..) and then, clip the limit tab.. less steps.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you for the comment. Its my first time doing something like this. I had no idea how to do anything prior to starting the project. I learned as I was building it. I appreciate your helpful comment.