It’s officially October, and that means we can start unleashing the Halloween hacks. Take for example this restless skeleton that master automaton maker [Greg Zumwalt] has doomed to spend eternity inside of a useless box. If that wasn’t enough to wake the dead, every time some joker pushes the button, these blinky lights come on. Hey, at least there’s no opera music.
The ironic thing about useless machines is that there are a ton of ways to make them. This spooktacular Halloween-themed do-nothing box doesn’t use a microcontroller, or even a 555 — it’s purely electromechanical. When the button is pressed, two AAAs power a small gear motor that simultaneously lifts the lid, raises the dead, and twists him a quarter turn so he can close the lid and put himself back to eternal rest.
The intricately-printed skeleton doesn’t really push the button — he’s far too dead and frail for that. The gear motor also turns a dual-lobe cam that activates a pair of roller switches that handle the candles and lower Mr. Bones back into his crypt. Clear as blood? Skitter past the break for a closer look at the mechanism.
Halloween or not, we love a good useless machine around these parts. Here’s one that incorporates a real candle and who could forget this octo-switched beast?
10 thoughts on “A Useless Tomb Of Eternal Doom”
A wonderful article and I thank you so much. I design these models to generate smiles, and I hope this one is no exception.
looks very nice, works like a charm, a project succes. Nicely done!
Extra points for the lack of semiconductors.
Yes, very nicely done, although I see 4 semiconductor components.
Neat, I guess there really is no rest for the wicked.
October is spring here in Australia – thanks for reminding me, I need to buy some Easter Eggs.
May as well try and peg out a good spot to watch the Anzac day parade while you are at it.
In terms of Halloween, Thankfully a house down the road from me gets into the Halloween spirit and is all done up, so all the kids in the neighborhood flock there rather than annoy me.
– another Aussie hackadayer
I offer the Trick or Treaters (i.e. little extortionists) the option of candy, or a box of Mac ‘n Cheese.
Middle school boys invariably go for the Mac ‘n Cheese.
I’m sure the little ones are looking forward to the annual visit of the Easter Kangaroo!
Comic sans makes my eyes bleed
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)