Cool Rube Goldberg Machine Examples

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Spring 2006 Open House - Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Machine to pick a winner for a prize!

1. Turn the hand-powered "generator"

2. Motor lifts dog house

3. Gear dog walks out of house

4. Triggers mousetrap

5. String on mousetrap spins gears

6. Paperclip from gears releases bag of balls

7. Bag pushes on lever

8. Lever releases pink ball

9. Pink ball triggers mousetrap

10. Mousetrap pulls nail from yellow stick, dropping a weight

11. String on weight pulls lever up

12. Lever releases golf ball

13. Golf ball bumps ball down staircase

14. Ball bumps tinkertoy sticks

15. Magnetic ball rolls slowly through copper pipe

16. Lands in basket and pushes down lever

17. Another lever sets off mousetrap

18. Mousetrap triggers Gauss Rifle (magnetic propulsion)

19. Magnets travel uphill, releasing last one through yellow tube.

20. Hits a set of marbles, that roll down the "pinball machine"

21. Marbles knock over blue lego piece

22. Lego triggers mousetrap number four

23. Mousetrap pulls plug from bottle, releasing sand

24. Weight of sand (eventually) turns on switch

25. Switch powers motor that spins bingo cage. This releases a ball to pick the winner!

Alexis' 1998 Machine: The Magic School Bus

13 Steps to Turn the Page of a Book!

The goal of the 1998 Rube Goldberg contest at the Museum of Scientific Discovery, Harrisburg, was to build a machine (with at least 10 steps) to turn the page of a book.

1. Turn the handle on a toy cash register to open the drawer.

2. The drawer pushes a golf ball off a platform, into a small blue funnel, and down a ramp.

3. The falling golf ball pulls a string that releases the magic school bus (carrying a picture of Rube Goldberg) down a large blue ramp.

4. Rube's bus hits a rubber ball on a platform, dropping the ball into a large red funnel.

5. The ball lands on a mousetrap (on the orange box) and sets it off.

6. The mousetrap pulls a nail from the yellow stick.

7. The nail allows a weight to drop.

8. The weight pulls a cardboard "cork" from an orange tube.

9. This drops a ball into a cup.

10. The cup tilts a metal scale and raises a wire.

11. The wire releases a ball down a red ramp.

12. The ball falls into a pink paper basket.

13. The basket pulls a string to turn the page of the book!

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Alexis' 1999 Machine: 18 Steps to Put Coins in a Bank

This machine was called "Hickory Dickory Dock".

The goal of the 1999 Rube Goldberg contest at the Museum of Scientific Discovery, Harrisburg, PA was to build a machine (with at least 10 steps) to put coins into a bank.

1. Release Chitty Chitty car with mouse driving it and it bumps a rubber ball.

2. The ball knocks down the dominoes.

3. The dominoes trigger the first mousetrap.

4. The mousetrap pulls a string to turn on a toy record player. The music is "Hickory Dickory Dock"!

5. The record player spins the colorful gears.

6. The gears wind slowly wind a string that pull up a paperclip.

7. The paperclip is no longer in contact with another paperclip, which breaks the circuit on an electromagnet.

8. The electromagnet releases a mouse in a car down the ramp.

9. The moving mouse runs into a string, making it vibrate.

10. The string triggers mousetrap number 2.

11. This mousetrap pulls a string which pulls a hook (paperclip).

12. The hook releases a red parachute man and he flies down the incline.

13. The man pulls another string from a tube. This string has a pencil on the end.

14. The pulled pencil/string lets a heavy ball drop down the tube.

15. The dropping ball pulls an attached string up, making another mouse "go up the clock".

16. As the mouse moves, two small ball bearings are released down a marble track. (His tail was holding them in place).

17. The ball bearings land on mousetrap number three.

18. The mousetrap pulls a wire to trigger the mechanical bank, and with a tiny picture Rube Goldberg watching closely, a dog puts the coins into the bank!

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Rube Goldberg is Cool!

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Illustrations of Rube Goldberg Incorporated. Rube Goldberg is a trademark of Rube Goldberg Incorporated. Materials of Mechanical Invention Workshop and the Rube Goldberg Invention Convention, 1999.