The Useless Machine video has just cracked four million views! For me, this is a big thing. I know it’s no David After the Dentist, but still my mind boggles.
Four million is such a big number you need to break things down to something the mind can grasp: four million views times 19 seconds = 2.4 years of Useless Viewing. Good thing I didn’t make the video any longer!
Now that’s just taking into account the video. What about the time folks have spend building and playing with Useless Machines?
I have no idea how many people have actually built machines but it must be in the thousands… Continue reading →
As you can see in the video above, our Quality Assurance Technicians strive to ensure the finest of craftsmanship as well as durability! And they demonstrate another reason why one Useless Machine is not enough.
The earliest reference to the Ultimate Machine that I’ve found is by Arthur C. Clarke from the August 1958 issue of Harper’s Magazine article (also in his book Voice Across the Sea: p. 159, Revised edition, New York: Harper & Row, 1959 and 1974):
With this description in mind, Michal Zalewski has posted about his second build of an Ultimate Machine.
As he says on his build page Shannon’s Ultimate Machine, take 2, the goal was to build an Ultimate Machine that was “elegant, simple, and chillingly sinister”. It’s using an Atmega48P micro-controller and it has a display showing a count of how many times the switch has been toggled.
This gadget should get the Rube Goldberg Award. First build an electric Lego air compressor complete with a custom pressure sensor, then add a NXT controller for brains and voice, making your very own Talking Pneumatic Lego NXT Useless Machine:
Here’s a cut and paste from the description of Australian YouTuber jscoutabout’s video:
i built it mostly because i wanted to explore pneumatics, and finally combine NXT with my Pneumatics. made from the NXT, and motorized tractor set with a customized pressure sensor adapted from the book “Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms Nxt“