Ever clap so much that you wish a robot could just step in and keep the applause going for you? Me neither, but that’s why the world has goofy geniuses like Simone Giertz to come up with vaguely practical solutions to problems we didn’t know we had.

In her latest project, Simone creates an applause machine. It’s a motorized pair of clapping hands with variable speed control. The control slider takes you from a “snarky slow clap” up to “breakneck speed.” Frankly, I think breakneck speed could be a little faster. And now that we’re being honest, really the whole contraption sounds more like a pair of amorous squirrels on a squeaky mattress. But that’s not the point.

Simone Giertz and Applause Machine

The point is, time and again, Simone creates delightful inventions that combine common Maker components (Arduino, Actobotics, motors, springs, creepy wrinkled plastic hands) to build things I’ve never seen before. At a time when everyone’s running out to build some internet connected appliance of the future (equally useless, arguably), Simone keeps it fun with unexpected, inspiring (and often dangerous) gizmos that make me laugh. It’s the part of the Maker spirit that I most enjoy. 

Applause Machine