Rube Goldberg FTW

This video was on its way to a links post until we saw the game of chess right in the middle of it (bishop to H5). [Tom] and [Ben] put their Master of Manufacturing Engineering degrees to use by jam-packing every conveyance method possible into a Rube Goldberg machine. There’s violin bows, a polo mallet, a rolling candle, a ball-popping umbrella, texting cell phones, toppling jewel cases, and plenty of ball-on-tracks implementations. All of that setup and all that the device does is… well, you’ll have to see for yourself.

[Thanks Phil via DVICE]


  1. Hacksaw says:

    I love these things…They remind me of a time when I had nothing better to do than see what ridiculous thing I could build.Bravo!

  2. David says:

    That’s pretty cool. Any info on how long it took them to set all of that up?

  3. janin says:


  4. kirov says:

    that video is like 3 years old way to go hackaday

  5. Mr_Bishop says:

    @ Janin wtf is a Pythagora Switch?

  6. Sprite_tm says:

    Mr_Bishop: It’s a Japanese show known for its Rube Goldberg-ish intermissions. Look the term up on Youtube for more info.

  7. zeri says:

    @ Mr_Bishop

    It’s a Japanese show involving Rube Goldberg machines.

  8. cde says:

    AN utterly complete waste of time…

    An AWESOME utter complete waste of time. I wonder how they got the chess pieces to do that. Magnets? MPU?

  9. googfan says:

    now we need a machine that will set itself back up

  10. Haku says:

    Wasting time doing nothing productive at all except having fun, I can relate :)

    P.S. Bishop to King 7. Checkmate, I think.

  11. Paul says:

    that is awesome

  12. Andy says:

    Wow! That is, without a doubt, one of the coolest things I have ever seen!

  13. wdfowty says:

    i was thinking the same thing

  14. SoulSalmon says:

    Finally some GOOD HaD articles are coming back :P

  15. FileClerk says:

    Purdue university has a big rube goldberg contest every year that involves all of the big ten schools. Fun to watch.

  16. Bjonnh says:

    @cde: nylon wires. you can see them on one of the pieces

  17. Andrew says:

    It’s always so much more impressive when these Rube Goldberg machines are filmed in one cut, though.

  18. Eric says:

    I could have opened those curtains with a lot less effort using an Arduino.

  19. Stormrider says:

    Seriously, shut the fuck up kirov. That was an awesome video, I’ve never seen it on here or anywhere else. When was the last time YOU provided useful content, or anything other than commenting on how everyone else’s projects suck?

    I’m tired of all of the whiners, and you’re one of the worst. Put up or shut up. If you’re so awesome, start doing a project every day, that’s good enough to get posted, and entertaining.

  20. Old User says:

    After a long time browser of Hack-a-Day, I’m going to have to stop visiting this site. This video is definitely old, and this post doesn’t really do anything more than have relevant info (that could be googled in a few minutes).

    I just expect, I don’t know, more from HaD.

  21. Astro3000 says:

    Hello first i would like to thank Hack a Day for posting this funny video ( love this kind of fun )
    next i would like to say this : Yes it’s old ( so what ) yes ” you could have googled ” it and found it this way ….. I didn’t think about a video like this so how should i google if not thinking about it or knowing this ? THANKS to Hack a Day for show this video to me if I haven’t found it here i don’t think i would have seing this at all and im not the only one having it like this…..
    sometimes you have to hear/see something before you know it exist……
    And second : I love this pages but the language
    some users have when they write are a way to disgusting and they should be banned from writing
    this kirow wrote are to much and he sound like a psykotic retarded teenager who should be in a mental hospital so he don’t abuse others in here.
    same problem exist on Instructables and it’s the
    reason why I don’t wanna post project’s at all. Some people have feelings and are being upset when read stuff like this……. DISGUSTING and totally lack of intilligens ….. this could be the last time i visit Hack a Day … This page is so great but the comment by some people SUCKS…………

  22. markii says:

    woooooow great

  23. Chris says:

    This was indeed created in early 2009 but it is a new one from the one I saw last time. They all went to my college in Cambridge and it is cool to see people doing things like that in rooms of friends (they were 2/3 years above me I think). Anyway good work and good to see some St John’s engineering going on!

  24. A_Blind_Man says:

    Its called hack a day, not brand-new-no-one-has-heard-of-hack a day.

  25. Drewbacca says:

    Did you catch the “Close Encounters” riff on the glasses in the kitchen? Genius!

  26. le'chef says:

    Wow just wow.

    I wonder how much meth that took

  27. There were so many edits in that video I lost count.
    It’s clear the entire machine never worked right, making it far less impressive.

  28. greg says:

    Nicholas: Agreed.. and some of the edits were actually quite jarring, just watching it they didn’t seem to “flow” (I’d attribute it to bad editing, whether or not it was done in one run). The machine was big enough that there’s probably no way to film it with one camera.. but it seemed like there were 3 or 4. It would have been good to do the changes while not much was going on (just a ball rolling down the ramp) and do some kind of transition where it’s possible to see both angles at once, so you can see continuous motion that makes it look like one single run (even if it was multiple tries, at least the editing would cover it up).

    30% of the impressiveness comes from building a giant rube goldberg machine. 80% is having it all work in one go (yes, giant one-take machine is 110% on the scale of impressive).

  29. Gagandeep singh says:

    I liked the video. that was awesome contraption. that chess thing also tingle me how its done, any guesses ? and is that one cut or modified ?

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