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On a rroll: Zach Rattner's Automatic Mobile Rick Rolling Device



The rroll, invented by Zach Rattner


At some stage the geek activity of duckrolling - where you claim to link to something impressive, like this photo Chris Hook took from the awesome opening to the 2013 Sydney Festival, for example, but instead link to just some image of a duck - gave way to rickrolling, where the link led to Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up'.

Computer science student and all-round geek Mayniac182 raised the bar somewhat a little while ago, when he submitted an assignment that  was essentially a giant rickrolling acrostic.

Now software engineer Zach Rattner has proven the modern social importance of inventors by creating the rroll: a physical rickroll device.

It's a battery powered doohickey that uses an ultrasonic sensor to detect whenever someone approaches within six feet - at which point, it starts playing  Rick Astley's peerless contribution to contemporary art and culture. Or, in Zach's terms, "unleashes cheesy music on unsuspecting passers-by".

But what makes it so good is that when you walk away from it, the music pauses… resuming from where it left off the minute you - or anyone else - approaches once again.

What it's like is one of those seemingly cool joke devices you used to find advertised on the back of comic books. Nowadays, it's the sort of thing someone would mass produce and sell on the modern-day equivalent of back-of-comic-books, one of those daily deal coupon company sites (of which, I know a thing or two…).

Although, if you're a crafty clever-clogs, you can build your own, since it's an open source project, and Zach lists all the elements required on his site.

Watch it in action:


Somehow, I can't help thinking that a device whose sole purpose is to play Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up' is precisely the thing you will give up and desert.

But imagine its application in every-day life!

It could work as a car alarm. Hold music. Or popular radio. Had they not already been invented to unleash cheesy music on unsuspecting passers-by.

I'm going to put a couple dozen in the mango tree outside, to discourage fruitbats, possums, and especially unsuspecting passers-by, from stealing the fruit!

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