Rube Goldberg device

A Rube Goldberg device is an absurdly complicated machine designed to perform a simple task in the most ridiculous way possible. They were named after Rube Goldberg, an American cartoonist who drew many of these devices.

Ben G. made a Rube Goldberg device for his SWN, so I thought I’d show you some more. Thanks for the idea, Ben!


This Honda commercial uses only parts from Honda cars, and used no computer generated images–it’s all real, and it took 606 takes to get it right. (Here’s a behind the scenes video.)


The rock band OK Go just released a Rube-Goldberg video for their song “This Too Will Pass.” It’s also real, and took 60 takes over two days to get it right. Read how they did it here.

(It’s not a Rube Goldberg device, but check out OK Go’s amazing treadmill dance, too.)

By the way, the official Rube Goldberg website sponsors an annual machine-building contest. It’s already over for 2010, but if you’re interested, the 2011 challenge is to build a plant-watering machine.

Want even more? Here’s a Salon.com slideshow of cool (mostly home-made) Rube Goldberg machines.

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11 Responses to Rube Goldberg device

  1. Henry M. says:

    Thats a lot of broken TVs!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sam G says:

    Oh my god. Did you know that they had to try the add for honda 60 times before they got it wrong!!!
    Sam G

  3. Julian P says:

    WOW WOW WOW thats amazing, I’ve seen the HONDA commercial before but no matter how many times I see it, it amazes me! I can’t believe it took 606 times just for one commercial! WOW WOW WOW!

  4. Harris says:

    This rube goldberg device is cool but does not make any sence

  5. Robert says:

    That’s crazy. They must need a ton of space in order to fit the whole device. Such a long process for such a small task.

  6. max poobear says:

    thats amazing how tiny things like nails that are extremely light and not at all forceful could take a big part in makinng something extremely heavy start motion.

  7. Dean says:

    I was thinking the same thing Robert, maybe where they store airplanes.

  8. theo says:

    i must of taken so much time to do this and a lot of money

  9. Matt Dandola says:

    Hey guys! Awesome blog!
    Did you know that Rube Goldberg machines are my favorite! Rube was an author, cartoonist, and engineer. His ‘machines’ started out as doodles in the margins of newspaper stories he submitted. Now, they’ve become so famous that they show up all over the place. There’s a great one in the beginning of the movie The Goonies.
    Every year, Purdue University hosts a Rube Goldberg contest. They’ve made a documentary about the contest, and it’s coming out soon. To get a better idea of how much work goes into one of these machines, check out http://www.mousetraptomars.com; and for more information about Rube and his machines, go to http://www.rubegoldberg.com

  10. Thomas L. says:

    AWESOME!!! I want to join the contest but I don’t have any awesome or unique experiment to do…
    AND HI MR. DANDOLA!!!!!! 😀 How are you?

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