Friday, 6 April 2012

Rube Goldberg Machine Notations

Upon viewing this page you, the casual Internet user, might well be saying to yourself

"Warte eine Minute! Wo ist der verrückten verrückten Humor? Ist das BloggerEntsendung seiner Alphabet Herausforderung Beiträge nicht in Ordnung? Ich kann nichtdamit umgehen! Jemand Herunterfahren des Internet!" [1]

By happy chance you'll have just enough time to read the rest of this introduction before the orderlies put the straitjacket back on and your doctor reconsiders allowing you access to the outside world.  

The explanation for this out of sequence posting is that the class is currently making Rube Goldberg Machines as I mentioned in passing in a previous post [2]
What follows is some gathered from a few places, Wikipedia, Grant and some stuff that was written up on the board in class.  It's posted here because it's too big to post into the Facebook Group.

Actually forget all that

Here are some notes for the Rube Goldberg Machine.  Posted here due to it being way to big to fit into the Facebook Group.  Naturally I have included my own notes for the intellectual which may be found in its usual place at the end of the posting.

Rube Goldberg Machine notations.
Room Measurements:
  • Window wall to door wall 5.4m pillar to pillar
  • Solid wall 5m pillar to pillar
  • Pillar to light rail 1.8m
  • Light rail to light rail 2m
  • Average Marble weight 15gm – Variations of 0.5mm to 1mm
  • Polystyrene
  • plastic milk bottles
  • Cardboard
  • Paper (naturally)
  • Glass
  • Recycled objects
  • Fire
  • String
  • Magnets
  • Mentos/Coke:
    Adding Mentos to Coke will result in a very powerful fountain about a meter high. But this height is not uniform and it is best used as a finale [3]
  • Candle/Steam:
    With much of the track being made of paper using this might require a wooden or plastic housing to be added to the track.
  • Pendulum:
    Can be used to knock the next step over, a counterweight or, if attached to a threaded screw system it might unscrew itself [4]
  • Counterweighted cranes:
    At it's heart this is a pivot and screw the making of which is, thankfully, relatively simple.
  • Archimedes Screw:
    Useful for bringing the marbles up a slope. [5]
  • Trapdoors:
    For multiple marbles on the run.
  • Plastic Bags
    Could be used as a catching device if the catapult idea goes ahead.  Might also work as a track for the marble or even as a hanger [6] for the larger sections of the track
  • Water or similar liquid:
    Water would work as a weight that raised the marble up if it were slowly emptied from the container and vice versa.
  • Swings and roundabouts:
    Because everything's better with a swing. [7]
  • Catapult and catching system


  1. "Wait a minute!  where's the zany madcap humour?  Is this blogger posting his Alphabet challenge posts out of order? I can't deal with this!  Someone shut down the Internet!"  You might also have time to think "Hey. Warum denke ich auf Deutsch?" if the orderlies have lost the key to your cell yet again.
  2. You don't need to go looking for it or anything.  Just imagine that you remember me mentioning it in an offhand and casual manner.
  3. Apparently Diet Coke works best which is good because Coca Cola hasn't ever found anyone prepared to drink the stuff
  4. Achieving a kind of Nirvana I suppose.  There are a shortage of pendulum jokes on the Internet but the good news is there there is an even greater shortage of pendulum rule 34's
  5. Probably not the use he envisioned when he ran around shouting Eureka! (Bonus points if you spotted the intentional mistake)
  6. You know, for hanging things.
  7. Don't believe me?  Try dumping someone while on a swing.  It can't be done



  1. That is so cool ya'll are making one of those. You ever follow the yearly contests...think the latest winner was one that popped a ballon in so many at Perdue. I used to like to toy with those as well. They're fun.

    Sore wa sugoi desu yo!
    (or...ummm....."Dat iz der cool!" <--LOL Maybe I should learn German)

  2. It's still in the design stages right at the moment. Largely because we're art students and our talent lies in the drawing. So on paper it's going to look very cool and work perfectly, on paper.

  3. hahaha...(I write "LOL" too much...but, I really do laugh a'm changing it up a bit)
    I'm sure it will be really kick-arse and work great. The design is usually the hardest part...the rest is pretty much just tinkering to get it just right. Ya'll got this! (that might have come off too "cheerleader-like"...)