In a bizarre homage to Thing from the Addams Family, an inventor who goes by the pseudonym “OuterSpaceMan” was playing around with a servo motor and rubber tentacle and decided that the only thing better would be if he mounted a knife to the wildly swinging appendage.
This slashing tentacle box started out as an experiment to answer a basic question. What would happen if a tentacle was hooked up to a hobby servo motor? OutaSpaceMan “found them at a bargain store in Bognor Regis, in the toy section.” He remarks that “I couldn’t believe my luck as I’ve always found the idea of tentacles hilarious.”
He used a LittleBits module to interface an Arduino Mega 2560 with the servo, and used one of the Arduino example programs, a “blink” sketch, to time when the servo would rotate. Something like this could probably have been accomplished with the Arduino directly, but OutaSpaceMan was working his way through the Arduino tutorial and hadn’t gotten to servo control yet.
Things…got a lot crazier when the servo was mounted inside a small box, sped up, and “weaponized” with a small knife. As for why make something like this, OutaSpaceMan replied that “The ONLY sensible answer to both those questions is ‘Tumblr.’” Given the number of views these videos have gotten, I’d say his answer is correct.
What is amazing to me is how random and lifelike the knife-flopping is given it’s single-servo control. Again, this is something that should probably be left unbuilt, at least in it’s knife-wielding form. If you’re wondering how this was eventually turned off, OutaSpaceMan actually just let it run out of battery power.