About this project
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.
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.
- We send it to you.
- You assemble it.
- Flip the switch.
- 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.
- 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
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