or those who ditched their click-and-clacking Newton's Cradle decades ago, this Solar Marble Machine just might be the modern ball-based meditation tool of your DIY dreams. What does it "do"? Not much! But that's precisely the point.
I mean, technically it has a very simple repetitive function: Solarbotics crafted the gear-and-spiral combo to operate in time with a smart circuit that stores energy collected from a mini solar cell. Every few seconds (or minutes, if you're in a windowless cube) the wheel turns, releasing a marble down the twisty slide to the bottom, where it's eventually carried up to the top again. If you're in a really dark spot you can make the whole thing perform its rounds manually.
What does it "do"? Not much! But that's precisely the point.
The kit comes with all the parts you need—motors, diodes, transistors, and capacitors—but you will have to track down a soldering iron to put them together.
Desktop stress-relievers and mental distractions might seem a little outdated and mobile offices make outfitting a physical workspace a bit of a dying breed, but I dig this modified, automated Mouse Trap gadget, and would gladly while away a bitty chunk of time watching these little thangs roll. Find out where you can buy one here for $33 (£20). [Maker Shed; Solarbotics]