Who: Brett Coulthard (Canada)
Innovation: The Most Useless Machine Ever
What does it do?
The Most Useless Machine Ever is a small wooden box with a switch. When the switch is flipped, turning the machine on, the box opens and a small arm reaches out to turn the switch off, before retracting back into the box. And it keeps doing this. Repeatedly. Over and over.
What problem does it solve?
As the name suggests, this innovation doesn't really do anything. It's completely useless. It just turns itself off and on.
This video of the Most Useless Machine Ever on YouTube has more than five million views. It's featured on US television show The Colbert Report. It won Robot of the Year in the 2009 Engadget Awards. It is on display at the Museum of Ideas and Inventions in Barcelona. You can get the construction plans, or buy kits, and make your very own Most Useless Machine Ever. An internet sensation, perhaps?
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