This hack really pushes our buttons

Yep, if you’ve got a button that needs pushing, this is one way to do it. [Travis] combined an old alarm clock with a car door-lock actuator and minimal logic circuitry to make this happen. When the alarm time is reached, the adjustable actuator comes down to press whichever button has been placed under it. In the video after the break he’s using it to schedule the start time for his Roomba, make his coffee, heat his pizza, or pointlessly press the clock’s own snooze button (classic). We think this is just begging to be used with a Rube-goldberg setup, perhaps to topple to dominos that other robot took the time to set up. Oh wait… that shows up in the video too. Fantastic!

Comments

  1. Good job on the ‘ible, plenty of photos. Might have to take a trip to the pick-n-pull. I had that exact same alarm clock in High School…

  2. tantris says:

    i bet, one could set this up so it can push the channel button on your tv.
    one could even change channels or volume without getting of the couch. all it would need is a couple of arduinos and a set of xbee transceivers.

  3. Vadim says:

    I got to make me one of these, amazing project I love it!

  4. Bill Porter says:

    Neat little device.

    Anyone jumping at the idea of Roomba scheduler, there’s another way (though not as cool). All Roomba series 500 and above have an RTC and scheduling ability, it’s just not brought out to the end user via buttons or controls unless you buy the ‘deluxe’. But you can use the serial port on the Roomba to set time and schedule.

    Models 400 or less can have the ability if you add a RTC and Micro-Controller to talk to it via serial.

    My next project might be to create a open scheduler for non-scheduler Roombas.

  5. Andrew says:

    @Bill Porter – The Roomba scheduling app is done :)
    I did this a while ago… still works great! http://drewstechnotes.blogspot.com/2009/05/roomba-scheduling-app-released.html

    Cheers!
    -A

  6. o says:

    Use an attiny or 555 with a transistor across the button terminals

    Problem solved

  7. Bill Porter says:

    Awesome Andrew.

    That just leaves designing a scheduler ‘attachment’ for the series 400 and below, unless anyone else wants to pull it out another jem like that.

  8. Hamtaro says:

    I thought I saw enough of that alarm clock when I threw it out the window!! Yet it comes back to haunt again! I need the perpetual sleeping mode on it.

  9. Steve says:

    It would have been so easy for him to put some kind of micro controller board onto this (arduino?). But I’m glad he went down the alarm clock route. A true hack, love it.

  10. JB says:

    Nice hack. Worthy of Wile E Coyote. I like it :)

  11. Travis S. says:

    Yay I’m on Hack A Day!

    *shameless plug*

    If you guys like this you should vote for it in the Craftsman contest instructable :) I needs the votes!

  12. bzroom says:

    perpetual snooze :)

  13. I used to have that same radio!

  14. takato says:

    the perpetual snooze function could be used as a ghetto annoy-a-tron
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/8c52/

  15. Gdogg says:

    haha not very useful but very cool.

    @Andrew: That’s sweet. I was going to buy a roomba and was planning on doing something like that too. My house floors are too small to justify buying one, though.

  16. zool says:

    roombas and coffee makers can already do that on their own right
    the microwave one was pretty good

    the problem for some of these is that the alarm is going off, if you live in an appartment and your neighbor’s alarm is going of for hours that can be really annoying

  17. x_25 says:

    I have that exact same alarm clock

  18. RBRat3 says:

    Holy crap I have that alarm clock

  19. takato says:

    @zool: couldn’t the speaker just be disconnected?

  20. Mike says:

    If only Desmond and Locke had one of these.

  21. drew says:

    Ha- that adjustable holder with rods is actually a machinist’s dial indicator stand.

    The switch in front toggles the base magnet on and off.

    I use one of these in machining, and they’re usually pretty cheap, 10-15$ (the chinese ones). What a brilliant, useful repurposing of it. Actually, I exactly had a need to do exactly this with my alarm clock- now I know how!

    Amazing that no one seems to make a remote controlled alarm clock that can shut off at the press of a button without killing the power to it.

  22. jmf says:

    Is that a Saskatchewan Poison Centre magnet on the fridge?

  23. Travis S says:

    @zool/takato

    There is a volume switch you can crank down to turn the sound off. I just left it on to help show that the alarm was being triggered.

    @ drew

    I’m going to have to disassemble the ABP soon so I can get my dial indicator back on my lathe. :P

  24. Mr.Non-Descript says:

    +1 on same clock.

    Anyone else think to have it impale that Roomba?

  25. KillerSpud says:

    @mike
    Srs lulz, you win one internets!

  26. RBRat3 says:

    Had to re-watch again and I just realized there was a blooper at the end, LOL that sucks. Im really temped to make one of these just cause I have that same alarm clock and it hasnt been used 5 years.

  27. Andy J says:

    Can’t get that Simpson’s episode out of my head where Homer becomes morbidly obese so he can work from home. If he had one of these instead of the wet bulb bird, he might have avoided his nuclear accident. Of course, his ginormous body saved the day. That’s irony for you.

  28. freakshow29 says:

    hahahaha, ive got the same alarm clock still….

  29. Camerin says:

    @tantris, our you could use the remote control that every TV has come with since the…. 70s?

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