Useless Box – Arduino Zero Project

By on May 9, 2016
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I’m always fascinated by these projects based on the “Useless Box” concept. A game that actually does nothing, but in a very charming and elegant way.

It is a machine that turns off the knob that you’ve just switched on- a ruthless battle between human and robot. This, made with an Arduino Zero board and some creativity.

How does it work?

The Arduino “listens” to the state of the switch and actuates the servo when the switch is activated.

In the OFF state, the Arduino sends the servo to the reset position. When a user flips the switch to ON, the Arduino sends a signal to the servo and actuates a finger to push the switch to the OFF state.


1. Program the Arduino.

2. Make the schematics using 9v battery, wires, breadboard, 10 ohm resistor, Arduino, and a switch.

3. Launch Arduino.

4. Make a box with cardboard. [I made it large enough to house the breadboard.]

5. Create servo housing and the finger. [Here, I used a rectangular cardboard with a hole as housing for servo motor and dental floss to secure the bind of the finger and servo motor. The finger is made with multiple layers of S-shaped cardboard.]

6. Test the angle of movements and adjust numbers in the program. Make sure there is enough force for the finger to push the switch off.

7. Wire and attach power supply

8. Test the Most Useless Machine Ever and voila!

All the Useless Box – Arduino Project Hub schematics, source code, BOM list details on the official project page.

About Luca Ruggeri

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