Simone Giertz describes herself as a professional maker and robotics enthusiast. She also acknowledges a special expertise in crummy robots. Her latest project is the stuff nightmares are made of. It’s a mechanized alarm clock that uses a fake arm to smack the sleeper awake.
The Wake-Up Machine is a DIY wall-mounted robot that you position above your head. When the alarm goes off, a rubber arm whips around, slapping you until you get up and get out of the way.
Giertz posted a video on November 11 that follows along with the build process. There’s enough information there to get you started on making a robo-alarm of your very own if you already have some maker tendencies.
The arm started off as a Halloween prop; Giertz cleaned off the fake blood to make it a little less terrifying. She then built connections between an alarm clock, an Arduino controller and a relay. When the alarm trips, it signals a motor to start up. The motor powers the arm, sending it whipping around. The whole thing is housed in a metal box that held bandages.
There are some potential hazards to using this device. Giertz’s hair became a victim during the demonstration process when it got tangled up in the arm and motor. She stills describes the experience as “more humiliating than painful.”
Let’s imagine how this would feel. You’re fast asleep, dreaming about starring in your own Star Wars epic and kicking Sith butt with your very own lightsaber. In the distance you hear a buzzing sound. Next comes the impact as a rubber hand whirls around, smacking your cheek and mussing up your hair. Welcome back to reality. It’s a cold, cruel workday ahead.
There are far more pleasant ways to wake up in the morning, but heavy sleepers who hate the dawn of the day may find a slap-happy robo-hand a lot more effective than a gently cooing regular alarm clock.
Originally published at Cnet.com