Lots of video games give you the opportunity to perform tedious, repetitious tasks, but they don't come much more tedious than Shiny hunting in Pokemon titles. Your chance of meeting an off-color Pokemon is less than one in 8,000 encounters, and fans are obsessed with those odds for some reason. They'll spend hours—even days or weeks—looking for that elusive blue-maned Ponyta.
One Shiny hunter who goes by the name "Smel11" on Reddit engineered a solution to the tedium that accompanies a typical search. Smel's constructed not one, but two machines that automatically catch one Pokemon after another, storing each one so Shinies can be picked out of the horde at a convenient time. By outsourcing the hunt to a machine, Smel can spend their freed-up time taking a nap or eating a sandwich.
Smel11 shared version 1.0 of the Shiny Hunter about a month ago. It "uses an Arduino to take information from a light sensor to control a solenoid that catches 100 pokemon for me [in Pokemon Let's Go] so I can check for shinies."
An Arduino is a board that can read a variety of inputs to activate an output: Starting a motor, turning on a light, or even publishing a message on social media. They're a popular means of motorizing or automating a craft project.
Yesterday, Smel11 shared the evolution of Shiny Hunter. The Shiny Hunter 2.0 is even more intimidating-looking than its predecessor, but it's also a lot more efficient. Whereas 1.0 stops after catching 100 Pokemon, 2.0 catches 100 Pokemon, does its own search for Shinies, and keeps on going. The trade-off is 2.0 looks like that life-sucking machine Westley is hooked up to in The Princess Bride.