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Best of Make: Volume 2 by The Editors of Make:

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THE MOST USELESS MACHINE

By Brett Coulthard

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Photograph by Sam Murphy

PARADOX BOX

Last year I saw a video of the “Leave Me Alone Box” built by Michael Seedman. Flip its switch on, and an arm reaches out of a door to turn the switch back off. That’s what it does, that’s all it does, and it will not stop until its circuit is dead.

I had to have one of my own, so I made one. Seedman’s design uses a microcontroller to run two servomotors: one to open the lid, and another to push the switch. This makes for an impressive performance, but seemed too complicated, ...

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