Useless Duck Company

The Useless Duck Company’s very splendid videos, demonstrating some of their thoughtful and helpful Internet of Things applications, have been making us LITERALLY DIE WITH HAPPINESS (literally!) ever since we discovered them. Even better: we got in touch with the Chief Duck, and he let us know which of his inventions use a Raspberry Pi. Here are two of the most safe-for-work ones.

Useless Duck Company, we salute you. Please invent something to clear up the coffee we’ve all spat across our desks.



Alex Bate avatar

Can he come and work for us? Please? PLEASE?!

MalMan35 avatar

I wouldn’t be so eager to have him work there! I wouldn’t want to find one of those sock removers under one of the desks. Or for that matter I wouldn’t want to find one anywhere!

Alex Bate avatar

Hahaha, so true.

Kevin Hainsworth avatar

More use to me would be a robot that pairs socks once they have been washed and dried.

Liz Upton avatar

There is no pairing of socks once they have been washed and dried, thanks to the SOCK GNOMES.

AndrewS avatar

The easy solution to that is to only buy identical socks.

Mike Cook avatar

Socks are an example of non Newtonian clothing. Normal Newtonian clothing sticks together in washing machines because of the attractive force, this is especially strong in pillow cases and duvet covers which can ingest a whole washing load. Where as non Newtonian clothing, like the fluids, exhibit the opposite proprieties and will repel strongly. Gloves are another example where the repulsion force is so strong it can actually spring off the body. This explains why gloves are only ever found singly in the countryside.

Alan Mc (Irish Framboise) avatar

Oh so wrong! Issues – I don’t know why. Perhaps too “close to the bone”. But it is chuckling material.

Oh well, I know what I’ll be having nightmares about tonight….not the sock remover…not the sock remover…

Ben Coburn avatar

Uggh… I used to come to the Raspberry Pi blog to distract myself from the rest of the world’s bad-news news with stories of people doing intelligent intellectually interesting (or fun) things with technology…. :-(

I guess you’ve finally been assimilated into the marketing [click-bait] machine.

Alex Enkerli avatar

Ben: can really relate to the first part of your comment. Part of what RasPi offers, as a project and as a foundation, is enthusiasm despite the ambient negativity. In several cases, it can even help restore our faith in humanity, albeit in small or humble ways. Though there are critics of the devices or, presumably, of the organisation, it’s ok to be enthusiastic at the prospect of doing fun projects involving Raspberry Pi computers. LIz and team have done a swell job at enabling the community.
Though this post is quite different from most others, not sure how it qualifies as clickbait.
To my mind, there are two things which connect this post with other things coming from the Raspberry Pi community. One is a love of pranks. They’re not my cup of tea, but it sounds quite fitting in view of some parts of the audience. The first clip may not be appropriate for all ages (a warning would have been nice), but it’s still in line with something of the sense of humour teachers and learners share in some schools. The second clip is much closer to that and would probably work well with fairly young children. Might even given them fun ideas to play with RasPi-connected motors.

The second thing which connects those clips to other posts is something of a “post-ironic commentary” on the state of Makers’ videos. More specifically, these clips emphasise the idea that such projects “work” as intended, even though they are clearly flawed. Many RasPi-based projects can be described in the same way, though usually with less dire consequences. Helps us separate the project itself from its original goal and think more deeply about what we’re really trying to solve. In this case, the socks remover is quite effective. The future engineers many people have in mind when they think of educational projects would do well to remember how negative the impacts of their decisions could be, if they don’t think through the walls of the “problem sphere”. The “useless” part of the title helps. Makes it sound like a Tinguely piece.

So, while it sounds like this #SunmerOfMakers is also a season-long “slow news week”, this post doesn’t strike me as that far off Liz’s “beat”.
Do wish we had been warned, still.

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