Booby Box – It’s A Trap!

Here’s a puzzle oddity that challenges you to open the box without falling into one of the booby-traps. It was built as a side-distraction from the more serious events happening at Insomni’hack 2011. [Sergio] and a colleague built the box to resemble a ticking bomb like in the blockbuster action movies we know you look forward to seeing each summer. A display on top of the device counts down for ninety seconds with an audible beep to mark the passage of time and boost your tension level. See it ticking away in the clip after the break.

Two wires meet at the edges of the box halves, completing a circuit that will set off an alarm when the contact is broken. There’s also a photocell on the bottom of the box which triggers the alarm if you lift it and expose this sensor to light. The combination necessary to open the box was provided to each competitor; it was not a numerical code, but a color code. Three potentiometers control the red, green, and blue anodes of an RGB LED, while being monitored by an Arduino at the same time. If you can dial in the appropriate color, the lid trap is disabled and the box can be opened. What does the winner get? Why an Arduino, of course!

15 thoughts on “Booby Box – It’s A Trap!

  1. Dude!!!! I love Hackaday because I get to see all of the people that are just like me! I built something similar 16 years ago, called The Bomb Box. It was the same concept, with a digital combo lock, “screw switches”, and a pressurized box, all done with a see through lid. If you triggered any of the lid switches, it would latch into a faster countdown mode, and if you pulled any power wires there was a battery backup in a secret compartment.

    You didn’t grow up watching MacGyver did you??? I know I did ;-)

    This stuff is just plain fun!

  2. What happens if you don’t get inside in time though… where’s the peril?

    I suggest wiring it up to connect power to the arduino data lines when the timer runs out to fry all the I/O drivers ;)

  3. I guess you guys never worked on a box where the idiot built it with wires that were all the same color, usually white. A mistake in that situation isn’t usually deadly, just expensive…

  4. @Jeremy, I have this MEGA “5 MILE” spool of RED 22AWG solid copper wire that I bought at a surplus store back in the day for $25. I thought it was a steal, and I’ll probably pass it on to my son some day because it’s like 3 lifetimes worth of wire. So yeah, I tend to use RED too ;-)

  5. Be careful where you leave something that looks like “a ticking bomb in the blockbuster action movies” or you might find that Homeland Security has blown it up and wants to ask a few questions.

    1-31-07 Never Forget!

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