Minimum Wage Machine Pays You Pennies for Your Power

minimum wage machine photo
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One way to make a little side money is to be a power generator. The Minimum Wage Machine will pay you in real time for the power you generate. The more you crank, the more pennies it spits out. Creator Blake Fall-Conroy shared details with MAKE, saying, "The minimum wage machine pays the user minimum wage in real-time in pennies-- the smallest unit of currency in the US. Being in NY, with minimum wage at $7.15 an hour, this equates to 1 penny every 5.035 seconds. The machine has a crank attached to an antique change sorting machine (circa 1913, ebay) and by belt to a small DC motor (salvaged from a printer). The crank turns the motor's shaft which, in turn, acts as a small generator. The voltage produced goes through a 5V regulator and powers a Basic Stamp. It also powers a stepper motor (same printer) moving a small wheel at the mouth of the change sorter and a small motor inside the change reservoir of the machine."

minimum wage machine photo

"In the future, I see possibility in a lot of these machines hooked into a grid, with people performing basic human labor for money. Perhaps a new form of renewable energy generation? A new kind of supercomputer with thousands of people performing basic calculations at minimum wage "stations" across the world? Who knows?"

The image of a bunch of people lined up cranking away just to generate power for the grid is really depressing. But maybe if someone needs a job for that day, it beats standing on a street corner with a "Blowout Sale!! Unbeatable Prices!!" sign all afternoon for some big box store. And would be more productive. But luckily, the Minimum Wage Machine is just a novelty....for now.