Having regular physical contact with other human beings is paramount to your mental health and well-being. Even just a hug a day from a friend or loved one can have a dramatic effect. But what if you’re the type of person who spends more time in the workshop than socializing? The next-best thing to do is to build a machine to give you some physical contact, which is exactly what YouTuber The Practical Engineer’s Hive Five Machine provides.
Alright, to be fair, getting a high five from a machine probably won’t have quite as much benefit as physical contact with an actual human. But at least it provides instant congratulations what you finish a tricky project in the shop! The Practical Engineer constructed the High Five Machine mostly from wood that he cut manually. The machine’s hand is made from silicone that was cast in a mold created with The Practical Engineer’s own hand. A 3D-printed mount was molded into the silicone when it was cast so that it could be attached to the machine.
The electronics that control the High Five Machine are pretty straightforward. An Arduino board oversees the whole operation and monitors a distance sensor place on the hand’s 3D-printed mount. Anytime it detects something close, it assumes you’re going in for a high five. It then powers an electric motor that swings the hand forward. When the arm moves outward, it releases a switch. When the arm returns to the resting position, that switch is pressed again so the Arduino knows to cut off power to the motor. It may not be as satisfying as a high five from a friend, but the High Five Machine is happy to spend all day in your shop with you.