Saturday 20 July 2019
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Useless box kit for the upcoming White Elephant Gift Exchange Programme

Useless box kit for the upcoming White Elephant Gift Exchange Programme

Useless box kit: Is a good choice if you prefer a cute and funny gift or if your guests like science experiment-based gifts for kids.  This simple science experiment is a kit in which the winner of the game has to assemble almost 50 pieces to create an acrylic box; it has a default switch on top it does the following.

  1. Turns the box on; this makes a finger emerge from the box.
  2. It turns off by itself.

Note: There will be a minor requirement of soldering to assemble the box; the protective pieces on the sides of the acrylic pieces should be removed before soldering. In addition to the soldering work, you’ll have to install two AA batteries on your own.

Since the kit comes with an instruction manual, it would be easy to fix the box.

It is suitable for beginners and intermediates, and this compact box comes in dimensions of approximately 5.5″ x 4.125″ x 2.75” and varies according to the size of the kit, like its weight.

You can buy this product from online stores like or


Back in the 1930’s, an Italian Artist Bruno Munari began building this, and it was named “Machine inutile”; he was one among the “third generation” futurist and was sought to counter the threats of the world by building artistic and unproductive machines.

The famous version in the field of information technology was built by an MIT professor and an artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Misky; this is the current type of box with an on-off switch. The latter named this as the “ultimate machine,” but the name wasn’t known; the device was later given various names like, the “Leave me alone box” but the name “Useless box kit” was accepted widely.

In 2009, artist David Moses reconstructed and exhibited the kit and explained the interactions of Claude Shannon, Marvin Minsky and Arthur C Clarke regarding the device.

Also, the show Fargo featured this device on the third episode of the third season.


  • Back in the 1960s, Captain co., toy maker sold a kit with the name, “Monster inside the black box”; this featured a mechanical hand emerging from the kit, flipping the toggle switch and turning itself off.
  • Then, a device called the Chain Snatching Box was created. This would get activated whenever a conductive metal coin was placed near it; it would whir & vibrate, and a plastic hand would emerge from the trapdoor, snatching the coin and shutting the door. In a way, it acted like a Rube Goldberg Machine.

In addition to the former, there were numerous developments done by various companies/ individuals.

You can buy the updated device from online or offline stores based on your budget, colour preference etc.


Useless box kit was created to produce machines artistically because of the violence in the world; you can purchase this from various online, as well as, offline stores.