I gave this a try: It seems to be a reliable indicator when a battery is stone dead. The trick is to drop the battery vertically. Neat!
It turns out that when the alkaline in a battery wears down, it produces a gas that fills the inside. So if you’ve got a box of random batteries you want to test, and don’t have access to a voltmeter or any other device, you can simply drop them vertically a short distance onto a hard surface. A charged battery will make a solid thump sound and often remain standing, while a dead battery makes a muffled sound, bounces repeatedly, and then topples over.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.