Made by Becca Kern and Jeremy Lee

Created: December 9th, 2015



The objective of our project was to explore questions of autonomous survival. Each box primarily wants to keep itself on and will turn itself back on every time it is powered off. This single box interaction typically occurs between a person and the Yinzbox. When in contact with another box, the box is primarily concerned with keeping itself on and secondarily concerned with turning the other box off. This creates a loop of the boxes continuously flipping each other's switches. It also demonstrates that the boxes are value their own survival over being detrimental to others's survival.



The boxes were designed in CAD and printed with a laser cutter. They were each wired with one switch indicating the "on" or "off" state of the box. A red LED light on the top of the box indicates whether the box is "on" or "off". A button on the front of each box, when pushed, lets the box know when it is contact with another box. This will change the motion of the box's arms. Each box has two arms - one to flip its own switch back on, the other to flip the other box's switch off. The second arm will only be active when the button on the front of the box is pushed. 

Using a gumband, we demonstrate that when the boxes are in forced contact with each other there is a battle of survival.



Our overall project was successful. Both boxes can interact individually and with each other. The largest problem with our project was the tops of the boxes that were hard to attach without having them prevent the motion of the arms. We may consider using a different type of adhesive when connecting the tops to the boxes. This project is unique because typical useless boxes turn themselves off; however the Yinzbox is fighting to survive and power itself on. Our project is also a unique spin of the useless box idea because two boxes are interacting with each other and autonomously flipping each other's switches in irregular intervals.

Share this Project


16-223 Introduction to Physical Computing

· 1 member

Physical computing refers to the design and construction of physical systems that use a mix of software and hardware to sense and respond to the surrounding world. Such systems blend digital and ph...more

Focused on