Poking machine

We may be showing our age here, but we have no idea what a ‘poke’ on Facebook actually means. Whether it’s the passive-aggressive manifestations of online stalkers or an extension of  the ‘like’ button, all we know is [Jasper] and [Bartholomäus] built a machine that translates virtual pokes into our analog world.

The “Poking Machine” as [Jasper] and [Bart] call it, syncs to your phone over a Bluetooth connection. The build is incredibly simple: just an ATtiny running Arduino for ATtiny, a Bluetooth controller (possibly this one from Sparkfun), and a servo. When the Facebook app on [Jasper] and [Bart]‘s phone receives notification of a ‘poke’, the servo is powered and gently taps the wearer on the arm.

One thing we really like about this project is the case made of several layers of laser-cut acrylic bolted together. This case offers a very clean look even if it is a bit ungainly. We suppose the guys could have used a simple vibration/pager motor for this build, but it wouldn’t exactly be a poking machine at that point. Check out the build video after the break.


  1. Jimbo says:

    Perhaps also you could make a ‘fingering’ machine for when you’re fingered over a UNIX network.

  2. aztraph says:

    Full marks for the build, wish i had a setup like that at home, but seriously, facebook?

  3. Hirudinea says:

    Hell when I saw “Poking Machine” I thought, “So Hack a Day is doing sex machines now?”

  4. ChalkBored says:

    It needs an LCD display on it so you can tell who paged poked you.

  5. Skitchin says:

    So…they’ve re-invented the pager?

  6. Breach says:

    Why not a device that stabs the people who poke you?

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