PROJECTS: MOST USELESS MACHINE
LEAVE ME ALONE
The Most Useless Machine, like Claude Shannon’s
original, is a desktop or tabletop conversation piece.
I went with a minimal aesthetic that leaves it most
open to interpretation, but you can dress it up by
labeling the switch positions, using a recognizable
object like a doll’s arm for the arm, or otherwise
On a much larger scale, Swiss artist Hanns-Martin Wagner built a version that used an old
wooden trunk as a box, a weathered prosthetic
arm, and an air compressor for power (see below).
I was amazed at the response to my original
Instructable. Everyone wants one of these boxes,
and wants to share details of their own build! Its
social appeal was also shown this past spring,
when the Birmingham, U.K., hackerspace FizzPop
www.fizzpop.org.uk) hosted a Useless Machine-making workshop led by Nikki Pugh (at right).
For part templates, videos of the Most Useless
Machine in action, alternate versions, how-to videos,
and other resources, visit
Photography by Nikki Pugh (top); and Hanns-Martin Wagner/ www.sinnwerkstatt.ch (bottom)
102 Make: Volume 23