Mad scientists throughout history, both fictional and real, have conceived frightening devices in their quest for world domination. But all too often, the smaller fruits of those efforts go unseen. Some too dangerous to risk getting into the wrong hands, and some so dangerous they end up killing their creators, leaving nothing but a mystery behind. Students from ECAL, the University of Art and Design at Lausanne, have created something that falls somewhere in the middle of those two.
As part of an international arts and engineering competition called The Destruction, a student team named Les Sugus created a chair that doesn’t give owners the chance to sit in it nine times. The DRM chair, unofficially called the Whoopsidoo 2000, has a small sensor on it that can detect each time someone sits down, and when that person stands up, the counter drops down. After eight ass-to-seat encounters, all of the chair’s structural joints melt themselves and the entire contraption collapses to the ground. While it technically doesn’t take away a chair’s proper duty of having a person sit down, it’s the “not on the ground” portion of a chair’s mission statement that gets dismissed here.
Outside of a Candid Camera-style prank show, there probably aren’t a lot of uses for this kind of invention, but the underlying mechanics could be put forth in a variety of different ways, such as in self-destructive beds, or self-destructive toilets. If anything, it ensures that even the winner of a game of Musical Chairs can still be the loser, if there are eight players involved.