We all know that life is difficult, but it would be nice to receive a standing ovation for the small successes that we each achieve every day. While hiring a team of cheerleaders to follow you around might prove expensive, you can always build your own applause machine to give you the morale boost that we all need from time to time. Worried that you lack the know-how to build something so sophisticated? Just look at Simone Giertz, an inventor with no formal engineering training who is build new, if sometimes unsuccessful, contraptions, including an applause machine.
According to Giertz for Popular Science: "To build it, I started with a pair of tongs from my kitchen. I attached a metal spring below the grippers, and put an oval-shaped DC motor between the arms. When the motor spins, it forces the tongs to open and close, creating a clapping motion.
As for the machine’s hands, I wanted to find a pair that would create the most realistic clapping sound possible. So I bought four different types of plastic hands from a party-supply store. After some experimentation, I decided that hollow hands made of rigid plastic created the best noise. I fastened them to the tongs’ grippers with small bolts."