Purdue students break world record with 244step Rube Goldberg Time Machine

first_imgIt only took 3,500 hours of work to build “The Time Machine,” a 244-step Rube Goldberg machine created by 17 Purdue University students. Though the team didn’t have the number of steps in mind while building it, the students happily discovered after it was built that it beat the former world record of Rube Goldberg experiments by 14 steps, landing it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.Rube Goldberg devices perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways. In the case of the Time Machine, the team created the 244-step device to simply water a single flower. As we mentioned, the students weren’t set on beating the world record, they just wanted to win the 24th annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest held in March at Purdue.Built by members of the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the team spent five months building the machine, which has 10 separate modules. The machine not only waters a flower, but it takes us through the history of the world, starting with a caveman spearing a woolly mammoth in the Ice Age, and ending with the supposed apocalypse in 2012, complete with smoke and sirens.The team’s captain, Zach Umperovitch, said the machine’s power has to run through every switch in order to keep it linear. So, if one switch gets messed up, or one wire isn’t connected, the entire machine will not work. The team’s mechanical engineer spent eight hours rewiring it two days before the competition.The team won the regional competition, but unfortunately did not win the national one. At least they beat a world record, though!The first video below shows the contraption from an overall view, complete with play-by-play commentary. The second video shows closer shots of various parts of the Time Machine. Read more at Purdue University, via Popular Mechanicslast_img read more