Largest Rube Goldberg Machine: PSPE set new world record (Video)
WEST LAFYETTE, Ind., USA--The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers team smashed its own world record for largest Rube Goldberg machine with a 300-step behemoth that flawlessly accomplished the simple task of blowing up and popping a balloon - setting the new world record for the Largest functional rube goldberg machine,
according to World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: The Purdue machine, built by a team from the Society of Professional Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, had 300 steps. The team completed two runs, each with two human interventions. Photo: Andy Jessop (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the The largest functional rube goldberg machine consisted of 244 different steps and was made by the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE) Rube Goldberg Team (all USA).
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest espresso machine, which was built on Discovery Channel's BIG! television show and measures 3.27 m (10 ft 9.25 in) tall, 2.48 m (8 ft 2 in) wide and 3.07 m (10 ft 1.5 in) long.
This year's winning Rube Goldberg machine had an end-of-the-world theme that incorporated music throughout the run, ranging from the "Jaws" theme to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to the "Indiana Jones" theme.
A team from St. Olaf College, a private liberal arts school in Northfield, MN, won the 25th annual contest, at Purdue University.
Purdue University took second place and the People's Choice Award, voted on by the audience, with a machine that revisited all of the Rube Goldberg challenges in the competition's 25-year history.
The Purdue machine, built by a team from the Society of Professional Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, had 300 steps.
The team spent more than 5,000 hours constructing the machine that accomplished every task ever assigned in the competition's 25-year history, including peeling an apple, juicing an orange, toasting bread, making a hamburger, changing a light bulb, loading a CD and sharpening a pencil.
Packing so many steps into one machine required inventing a novel platform that consisted of two rotating paddlewheels that revealed new sets of modules to chronologically accomplish a quarter century worth of tasks.
The final task was punctuated with a deafening blast from a genuine antique train whistle on loan from a museum.
The team completed two runs, each with two human interventions. Last year, the same team created a machine that had 244 steps, winning it a spot in the "Book of World Records."
Immediately after this year's competition, the machine completed a perfect run, qualifying it for another world record.
The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest dates back to 1949 when it began as a competition between two Purdue fraternities. It was held until 1955, then revived in 1983 and opened to all Purdue students.
The first national contest was held in 1988.
Sponsors for this year's national competition were Alcoa, Lockheed Martin, Priio, Rockwell Collins, and the Purdue Colleges of Engineering and Technology and the School of Mechanical Engineering.