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PROJECTS: MOST USELESS MACHINE

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USE IT.

LEAVE ME ALONE ALREADY 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 decorating it. On a much larger scale, Swiss artist HannsMartin 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 Machinemaking workshop led by Nikki Pugh (at right).

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For part templates, videos of the Most Useless Machine in action, alternate versions, how-to videos, and other resources, visit makezine.com/23/ uselessmachine.

Photography by Nikki Pugh (top); and Hanns-Martin Wagner/www.sinnwerkstatt.ch (bottom)

CUSTOMIZED USELESSNESS

Make: Volume 23

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Make magazine 23  

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