Don’t hit that switch!


Hackaday reader [Danukeru] sent us a video featuring a box-based robot with an interesting personality. The box is fairly simple and from the outside seems to consist only of a switch and an LED. When the switch is flipped however, the box comes to life.

When the box is activated, the lid opens, and a small arm reaches out to turn the switch off. We’ve seen that plenty of times, but this one turns out to be a little different. In the video, this process seems to repeat a couple dozen times before the robot gets angry and flips out. At first we thought that the end portion of the video was done with a bit of digital trickery, but after reviewing the creator’s blog, it looks like it could be legit. It is very hard to see the box’s innards in the video, but it does house a remote control car chassis that allows it to move around and spin out, as seen below.

It’s a pretty neat project, and if you can handle reading the creator’s site via Google translate, there is plenty of picture documentation of the build process for your perusal.


  1. IcYhAwK says:

    that is too cool. (if its legit)

  2. anton says:

    The raise of the machines is nigh!

  3. GoBO says:

    WOW, I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard at a hackaday video before. That is absolute CHAMPION!

  4. wardy says:

    I don’t know why I like this so much.

    A machine that throws a temper tantrum! Oh wait, is it running Windows?

  5. DarkAnt says:

    It’s Claude Shannon’s Ultimate Machine. You could at least mention that in the summary.

  6. D Sizzler says:

    Or rise even…..

  7. FoxxCommand says:

    It’s faces keep changing…..?

  8. Robert Thane says:

    I love it, especially how after it flips out and finally shuts down the switch recedes into the box!

  9. Dino says:

    Most excellent!!

  10. anton says:

    Well, it may be “raise”, or it may be “rise” – whom shall I trust: the machine translation or my sense of language?

  11. Bogdan says:

    This is the most entertaining thing I have ever seen in quite a while. Keep up the good work.. :)
    I think i might build one for all those people that keep asking me about what the thinks on my desk are.

  12. sneakypoo says:

    Brilliant spin on the old classic. Love it.

  13. I’m in love :D

  14. Jack says:

    That is simply adorable

  15. DeadlyFoez says:


    But it looks like the faces are just taped on and the user is changing them, not the machine itself.

  16. rasz says:

    the end is the best, personality reminds me Portal robots :)

  17. fartface says:

    Been around forever. You can buy that as a kit at the “make” store for the past 3 years.

  18. Brian.Holiday says:

    Answer me this, am I the only one who thinks this simulates the personality of an ex girlfriend? :)

  19. jongscx says:

    wait… so we’re PROGRAMMING robots to go crazy now? I thought it wasn’t stupposed to happen until a freak lightning storm or a disgruntled R&D military scientist goes crazy…

  20. sneakypoo says:
  21. at first i thought: o crap, not another useless box. but then after half of video it ran away, and i was like: nice!
    but in the end it became way too cool!

    great work! :-)

  22. Hackerspacer says:

    Cool,you can pump the robot up enough to turn into a combat robot, Mauler/Blendo/Ziggo style.

    Speaking of combat robots – does HAD ever cover them?

  23. bob says:

    Awesome. Proper LOLs.

  24. Andy Goth says:

    sneakypoo: The description given in the second-to-last paragraph reminds me of my experiences playing with MegaHAL.

  25. ZeroCool42 says:

    I’m not very taken with the spinning round and knocking things off the desk, but I LOVE the retracting switch! So much better than a simple timeout :P

  26. MG says:

    My 2 year old in box format.

  27. strider_mt2k says:

    Cool original take on a a classic project.

  28. Ren says:

    Cool box, it’s the stopped action in the video that I don’t like.

  29. Tom says:

    At first I was like “meh… seen these before” but then I watched the video and as soon as it started driving around on that table I was like “OMG I NEED ONE OF THOSE!”

  30. skater_j10 says:

    Hey if anyone wants to get a head start on building one of these, you can start with the useless machine kit from Solarbotics and modify to suite.

  31. 058606 says:

    Angry box O_O Lol.

  32. kak says:

    haha.. nice twist :P

  33. JohnBailey says:

    Needs an angry whine noise just before the tantrum.
    The retracting switch is genius though.

  34. raithios says:

    Whats the deal with the changes faces? Is this just for the video?

  35. Wolf says:

    Cool, but this one’ll always be my favorite:

  36. cafeine says:


  37. Spork says:

    This box is epic and much cooler than the original. Nice work.

    Interesting program/study. I’d like to see their code.

  38. Mike says:

    Angry box is angry!

  39. Kaijuu says:

    Does anyone see a link to the code in the thread?
    Very cool variation on an otherwise beaten horse.

  40. darkest says:

    also doubles as a bureau-cleaner :D

  41. emerson says:

    this is amazing

  42. ed shaw says:

    I want one

  43. lurker says:

    That was too cool – This belongs on everyones WTF shelf right alongside the 8-ball that blinds you and some sort for button that shoots pepper-spray.

  44. someone says:

    how do you make it

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