Jumbleview was inspired by the Make Magazine article to build this version of the Useless Machine. It doesn’t use a toggle-switch, instead it uses two micro-switches and it counts how many button presses take place. The arm comes out and presses the button the same number of times.
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.