Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Useless Can based on the Useless Machine is a kit with 45 pieces that you assemble without soldering to create a fun mechanism.
Useless Can based on the Useless Machine is a kit with 52 parts that you assemble without soldering to create a fun mechanism.
Useless Can based on the Useless Machine is a kit with 52 parts that you assemble without soldering to create a fun mechanism.
427 backers pledged CA$ 27,011 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Useless Machine in a Can - Fun Kit for Everyone project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Useless Machine in a Can - Fun Kit for Everyone

CA$ 27,011

427

I'm proud to present my recent creation: the Useless Machine in a Can. I worked hard to make it durable, easy to use and assemble. I need your help to start production so it can be made available to the entire world.

The useless machine is now 62 years old! Yes, our Useless Can uses the same principle, but in a much more modern way. We have developed a circuit board that includes all the logic of the mechanism, so you don’t need a soldering iron to assemble the parts.

The first useless machine have been invented by MIT professor Marvin Minsky, while a graduate student at Bell Labs in 1952. If we reach our goal, it will be my honor to send him a Useless Can for free!  

When we created the Useless Can, our objective was to make a fun product that everyone could enjoy. I created a fun and accessible DIY product to entertain people. I hope that the Useless Can will get people of all ages interested in robotics and electronics.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

I already created several fully functional prototypes and now ready to start production. We have all the equipment to make this product on a small scale but not to produce large quantities.  

Once we reach our funding target of $9,000 we will look at exciting ‘extras’ so that can you can get the most out of your Useless Can

Stretch Goal 1 - $10,000 (achieved!)

A Mini Phillips PH00 Screwdriver will be included in every kit, this screwdriver will be useful for the little screws that hold the motor, the micro switch and to assemble the aluminium hand. 

Stretch Goal 2 - $15,000 (achieved!)

We will double the thickness of the Acrylic to 6 millimeter for all kits. Currently we use 3 mm, at 6 mm it will be much stronger.

Stretch Goal 3 - $20,000 (achieved!)

We will add 2 LEDs on all PCB boards, so when turning the switch on, the light will also turn on until it closes itself. With the mechanism outside the tin can and with the transparent acrylic it will be very cool to watch.

Stretch Goal 3.5 - $25,000 (achieved!)

(NEW) The switch will be enhanced with a Toggle Black Cap that we called a Sports Non-slippery buttons! See Updates for picture.

UPDATED - Stretch Goal 4 - $27,500

We will add a time-delay to the finger using a NE555 chips to the PCB board with the options to turn on/off the time-delay if we reach Stretch Goal #4. 

The funds will be used to start production of the Useless Can on a mighty scale. We have already established a network of suppliers and manufacturers for the various components. By investing in our project, you will ensure our current prototype turns into a real product available to world at large. Our goal is to produce 500 units in the first batch. This will require many hours of work to put together the kits after verifying each component to the highest Quality Assurance standards.

The design and development process is complete. As soon as we find the necessary funds, most of the work will be related to managing production and shipping products. Our goal is to ship all 500 first examples of the Useless Cans within two months.  

Here’s how it will work.

  1. We send it to you.
  2. You assemble it.
  3. Flip the switch.
  4. Unlimited fun!

The Useless Can does not require any soldering which makes it fun and safe for kids to assemble themselves.

The inner workings of the can have gone through several iterations. With each prototype, we minimized the number of parts and refined the system to get to the point we are now. Many long hours of R&D have been invested in this project and we believe we have the smallest detail covered to ensure the very highest quality.

  • The corners of the can have been bent toward the interior to make it smooth and safe.
  • We created a custom circuit board that greatly simplifies the assembly process.
  • The top is made of aerospace-quality aluminium.
The Useless Can comes unassembled and has 45 separate parts.
 
  • 1 aerospace-quality aluminium top
  • 1 aerospace-quality aluminium arm
  • 1 aerospace-quality aluminium cap
  • 1 tin can
  • 1 plastic base for the mechanism
  • 2 plastic sides for the mechanism
  • 4 rubber nubs
  • 1 battery holder
  • 1 switch with circuit board
  • 1 micro switch
  • 1 electric motor
  • 1 label
  • 16 bolts
  • 12 nuts
  • 1 screw

The Useless Can requires 2 AA batteries which are not included.

Here is our list of rewards; pledging on it will allow us to launch our product into the world and make it a reality.

To add a below item to your pledge, simply pledge the additional amount above the reward tier you're receiving. For example, if you've pledged at the $59 level and would like the Useless Can assemble as well, pledge $69 ($59 + $10).

I have years of experience in robotics. Over the years, I have designed and built several complex robots such as the MandleBot, a robotic arm meant for educational use in high schools, colleges and universities. This obviously makes me more than qualifies to make this product. With the Useless Can, I'm now trying something new.

Risks and challenges

Our experience in robotics and manufacturing makes this project a lot easier to manage. We have already solved all the major challenges such as finding suppliers for components, producing specific parts in large quantities and shipping. At this point, all the challenges are behind us. We are ready to start large-scale production and deliver your Useless Machine in a Can to you now.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    Your name on our website (Official Contributor) as a thank you for supporting the project!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    Get an exclusive Useless Can PDF, your name listed as an Official Contributor on our website, and access to exclusive backer updates.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 42 or more About $35

    EARLY BIRD - You will be among the first 100 people to receive the Useless Can and be listed as a Silver Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $34 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 200 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 45 or more About $37

    Receive the Useless Can that you assemble yourself and be listed as a Silver Official Contributor on our website.
    (Approx. $35.50 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    77 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 49 or more About $41

    Receive the Useless Can that you assemble yourself and be listed as a Silver Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $40 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 55 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 59 or more About $49

    You get a Useless Can with the name of your choice on the label and be listed as a Silver Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $48 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 30 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 109 or more About $90

    You get two Useless Cans with custom labels. You will also be listed as a Gold Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $90 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 29 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 189 or more About $157

    Share the fun with family or friends and receive four (4) Useless Cans. You will be listed as a Platinum Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $156 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 7 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 219 or more About $181

    Experience the Useless Can like you never did before with four players matches. You get 4 useless cans with 4 customized labels. You will be listed as a Platinum Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $181 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 579 or more About $480

    Spread the joy of uselessness by giving the Useless Can to all your loved ones. You get 10 DIY cans with customized labels. You will be listed as a Rhodium Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $479 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 629 or more About $521

    Give the Useless Can to your best customers. You get 10 DIY cans with the logo of your company on the labels. You will be listed as a Rhodium Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $520 USD)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,795 or more About $1,487

    You get a fully assembled Useless Can with the name of your choice on the label. You will be listed as a Rhodium Official Contributor on our website. (Approx. $1489 USD)

    You also get a MandleBot robotic arm which includes:

    1 MandleBot robot fully assembled
    1 USB Cable
    1 Power cord
    1 Software license (Robotic Studio)
    1 ruggedized transportation case
    1 Gamepad Logitech F310
    1 instructions manual
    3 Allen Key (3/32), (7/64), (3/16)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 0 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)