I’m a big fan of Rube Goldberg machines. There’s just a level of excitement and conversely calm and comfort that comes over me when I watch one function successfully. I guess since so much of my life is punctuated by actions that boil complex tasks down to a simple mechanic – the click of a button, the turn of a car key, etc – it’s oddly refreshing to see the opposite in action. Making something so simple into an incredibly complex series of mechanical happenings just gets me all giddy.
And this latest attempt by The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers doesn’t disappoint.
According to the World Records Academy, what you’re about to see is the new official world record holder for largest Rube Goldberg machine – in terms of number of steps. Below, 300 steps are required to achieve the goal, which just happens to be the inflation and popping of a balloon.
In order to get so many steps into the relatively small space of the machine, they came up with that impressive spinning wheel of stages.
The team spent more than 5,000 hours constructing the machine that accomplished every task ever assigned in the competition’s 25-year history, including peeling an apple, juicing an orange, toasting bread, making a hamburger, changing a light bulb, loading a CD and sharpening a pencil.
Packing so many steps into one machine required inventing a novel platform that consisted of two rotating paddlewheels that revealed new sets of modules to chronologically accomplish a quarter century worth of tasks.
Check it out below:
This machine broke the old world record, held by – The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers. Last year, they jumped into the record books with a Rube Goldberg device with 244 steps. This year’s device blows that one out of the water.[h/t Gizmodo]