Well, here's a rather fun self-proclaimed "stupid pet project"—a literal brief if there ever was one—by SVA IXD student Max Kessler. As a kind of analog random number generator, "Coin Flip" is rather more purposeful than this brilliant gizmo, and the drinking-bird-meets-desktop-trebuchet invariably offers a more delightful user experience than, say, a web app. "The programming and robotics were build with an Arduino One, photocell, and Jameco 12V DC Motor," Kessler writes. "All the prototyping was built with MDF."
Meanwhile, as a tangible example of interaction design, the project is about as straightforward as it gets when it comes to learning by doing:
In my project, a few challenges I faced were the physics of the spring vs. motor strength and the material strength in relation to that determined motor power. A personal success in the project was my commitment and effort in prototyping and iteration.
Sure, it's a lot of custom-cut acrylic for an admittedly frivolous diversion, but what else were you going to use it for?