Inventor builds alarm clock with robotic arm that slaps people awake

Meet 'The Wake Up Machine' invented by robotics enthusiast Simone Giertz, and it is the stuff of nightmares: An alarm clock that slaps you repeatedly with a robotic arm.
PHOTO: Internet screengrab / Youtube @Simone Giertz

Throughout the history of mankind, homo sapiens have waged an epic battle daily in the realm of the subconsciousness: the struggle against waking up to reality or succumbing to the deep slumber.

The allure of defying the circadian cycle can be so great that alarm clocks of all shapes and sizes have emerged to solve the enigma: How do you wake a sleepyhead?

Meet 'The Wake Up Machine' invented by robotics enthusiast Simone Giertz, and it is the stuff of nightmares: An alarm clock that slaps you repeatedly with a robotic arm.

The robotic arm, which sounds like some sort of sadomasochistic contraption, is actually a rubber arm attached to a motor.

Explaining in a YouTube video uploaded on Nov 11, the plucky inventor said that wanted to make the bed 'a little bit less comfortable with the rubber hand - a Halloween prop.

After removing the gory bits on the rubber hand, she affixed it to a DC motor using duct tape and connected it to an alarm clock.

The rudimentary device was place above her bed near her face, and when the alarm rang, the rubber hand started spinning and slapping her repeatedly.

Talk about waking up to a rude shock, literally.

The Wake Up Machine seemed to work just fine in the first trial run. However, Giertz's hair got caught in between the motor during the second trial run, and she had to dismantle the device in an extremely awkward position, sacrificing a few strands of hair (or more) in the process.

"Getting slapped in the face with a plastic arm to wake up was actually not as painful as it might look," Giertz said. "Probably more humiliating than painful actually."

Other than looking like it may cause permanent brain damage in the long term, the Wake Up Machine seems like a silly, but fun device.

Will it stand the test of time?

At the end of her video about the Wake-up Machine, Giertz was rudely awakened again by the rubber hand.

"I can't handle this alarm clock!" she said groggily, bemused.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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