Solarbotics Useless Box Kit

USD $29.95

It's a kit that builds something that ...turns itself off when turned on. Hence, the Useless Box!

In stock (can be backordered)



Yes, it's ... Useless! It's a clever electromechanical box that turns itself off after you've turned it on.

You build it, you turn it on, and has other ideas. A finger extends, and turns itself off just as quickly as you turn it on. Weird and wonderful, it's a physical description of many aspects of life (how's that for the beginning of an artsy interpretation?).

This kit features a box you construct out of glossy black acrylic that houses a gear motor, battery, and switch you solder together yourself, so you can proudly declare yourself the "creator of Uselessness!". Solarbotics is the original manufacturer of this same kit made for MAKE magazine and Thinkgeek.

Sure it's useless... but it keeps your itchy switch-flippin' fingers busy!

To build your own Useless Box, you will need basic soldering equipment, 2xAA batteries, and #2 Phillips screwdriver.

Kit Features:

  • 3mm black acrylic "T-nut" construction
  • Simple-to-solder circuit board
  • 2AA power (for many, many thousands of cycles of use)
  • Flip-open, metal hinge construction to show off the internals
  • Full satisfaction warranty. If you have any problem (lost/snapped part, strange behavior...), contact us for free support and replacements!


Custom Useless Boxes

Have an idea for a gift box with attitude? We can help with custom lid engraving for an additional $20 if you order Useless Boxes in multiples of 4 (same design on all four boxes). Select "Box with Custom Top x 4" option and add it to cart to include it with your order. Send your order confirmation along with your artwork + instructions to Please make sure you follow Custom Engraving Guidelines. You can use the Useless Box Template if you like as well.


Additional information

Weight 0.404 kg
Dimensions 18 × 14 × 4 cm


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Solarbotics has been operating for more than 25 years, bringing electronics know-how and supplies to both the electronics professional and hobbyist. We'll be happy to help you too!

Solarbotics, Ltd. is not responsible for misprints or errors on product prices or information. For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Please visit for more information. This item was manufactured prior to August 31, 2018.

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