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We’ve probably all seen (and built) a useless box, in which you flip a switch that activates a servo that pops out a finger and flips the switch off. [Coffeman500] decided to take this a step further by building a useless box with multiple switches. Flip one, the finger pops out to flip it back. Flip several switches, and the finger pops out and flips each back in turn.
It’s a smart build that [coffeeman500] says is his first electronics build. The compulsively switching brain of this is an ATmega328 driving an A4988 stepper motor driver, with one stepper moving the finger mechanism and the other moving the finger along a rail to reach each switch in turn. [Coffeeman500] has released the complete plans for this wonderful waste of time, including 3D models for the box and mechanism, plus the code. Redditors are already planning bigger and more useless designs with more switches, a pursuit that we fully support.
What’s your secret evil plan? Are you looking for world domination by building a machine that can truly replicate itself? Or are you just tired of winding motor rotors and other coils by hand? Either way, this automated coil winder is something you’re probably going to need.
We jest in part, but it’s true that closing the loop on self-replicating machines means being able to make things like motors. And for either brushed or brushless motors, that means turning spools of wire into coils of some sort. [Mr Innovative]’s winder uses a 3D-printed tube to spin magnet wire around a rotor core. A stepper motor turns the spinner arm a specified number of times, pausing at the end so the operator can move the wire to make room for the next loop. The rotor then spins to the next position on its own stepper motor, and the winding continues. That manual step needs attention to make this a fully automated system, and we think the tension of the wire needs to be addressed so the windings are a bit tighter. But it’s still a nice start, and it gives us some ideas for related coil-winding projects.
Of course, not every motor needs wound coils. After all, brushless PCB motors with etched coils are a thing.
If your kids (or you) have somehow gotten tired of playing with LEGO bricks, Lenka Design Workshop has a great way for you to breathe new life into this unused pile.
Their game enclosure consists of a 32×32 LEGO baseplate, along with walls made of blocks to support a clear acrylic cover. This in turn holds four large arcade buttons for gameplay control. Five games are currently implemented to run on the game’s Arduino, with light and sound feedback.
We decided to recycle the unwanted Lego bricks and created an arcade game.
The code has been written in such a way that it doesn’t have dependencies and will compile on any Arduino board. And of course the games have been intensively tested by our kids.
How is this game different from many others that have been published before?
First of all, there are 5 games built into it:
- Memory Game (“Simon-Says”-like, similar to Touch Me game)
- Reaction game (similar to Whack-a-Mole game)
- Contest/Competition game (for 2-4 players)
- Melody Game (Push and Play free mode for toddlers and smaller ones)
- War game (for 2-4 adults)
Secondly, it has a great design (from our perspective) and can be easily repeated.
And thirdly, it is earth-friendly because it allows you to recycle the plastic.
You can see a short demo of the system in the video below, or check out the project write-up for more info.