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Randy Sarafan made this simple automated button pusher, which presses the “channel up” button on a TV remote once every minute.

I bet he has pressed the channel-up button thousands, if not tens-of-thousands, of times. That’s a lot of effort being exerted to change the channel. But what if that effort was not necessary? What if there was a way to change the channel without ever exerting the effort it took to press the button? What if there was a machine that pressed the button for you once per minute? Well then, perhaps, just maybe, that would be The Most Useful Machine… EVER!


Becky Stern

Becky Stern is head of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:



  1. MauiMaker says:

    take this same idea but use the TV-B-Gone tech to create an IR transmitter that accomplishes the same result without effort to a) find the original remote and b) position the robot properly over the remote.

    Now take that ir xmitter and hide it at your ex’s house.