Ad Inifitum Machine Uses You!

As seen here, Ad Inifitum is a machine that turns the idea of using it on its head, and instead “lives” by harvesting energy from its human host. This terrifying art installation — developed at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany — clamps a humans’ arm in place if someone chooses to insert it into one of two arm holes, and causes him or her to rotate a crank using electrical impulses.

Ad infinitum is a parasitical entity which lives off human energy. (📷: Arthur Silber /

If the human obediently starts rotating the crank without stimulation, the small shocks stop. The clamps, however, remain closed — hopefully not too tightly — until the now-enslaved human convinces someone to place a hand in a mirrored setup at the other end of the contraption.

The setup, seen below, is a frightening, if fascinating apparatus. Perhaps it’s meant to entice engineers to place a hand inside to investigate. In the middle of its long acrylic shell is a covered box that controls everything, containing an Arduino Mega, as well as an openEMSstim controller to “convince” humans to transfer their energy to the machine.

The device, which made its debut at the Natural History Museum in Bern, Switzerland is meant to illustrate that as we use computers through social media and the like, it can be difficult to see who or what is using who… Maybe it could also serve as a lesson not to stick your hand into an unknown piece of machinery!

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