Rube-Goldberg Provides Liquid Refreshment


The image to the left doesn’t make this look like much, but inside of the cardboard vending machine lives a clever Rube-Goldberg device. The video after the break gives a look at the inner workings to show how a quarter manages to dispense a full can of Coke. But that’s about all the detail we get on the project.

There are two sets of counterweights used in the design. Some marbles, and what look like giant pinballs. The coin chute, located on the left side of the venting machine, funnels the money into the waiting marble. When the marble rolls off it lands on a spoon. The weight rotates the spoon-filled disk and causes one of the waiting pinballs to drop from their rack. As that metal ball falls it operates a ratcheting system to dispense just one can. It looks like the capacity of the machine is limited to two refreshing cans of sugary liquid, but that could be scaled up if more room were made for cans and counterweights alike.

[via Reddit]

13 thoughts on “Rube-Goldberg Provides Liquid Refreshment

    1. each wiz bang can of crap is still the max sugar you could use in a day, this thing sakes up the desired sugar sirup and soda water for you to spray your self in the face with it’s sticky goodness convenience making it safe and the furthest from enjoyment, and some how a financial lost to it’s distributor.(selling a $1.25 can for .26c) this is a nice mod once you think about it.

  1. I think it’s unfair to label this a Rube-Goldberg machine. As wikipedia states: “A Rube Goldberg machine, contraption, invention, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, …”.

    This machine is clearly not overengineered or overdone but has a minimum amount of parts to create the intended function.

    Wikipedia continues “… usually including a chain reaction”, but that does not make any device which uses a chain reaction into a nonsensical Rube Goldberg machine.

    I think whats shown here is quite ingenious.

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