Author Archives: davidbrunnthaler

stripped down Rube Goldberg Machine – Video

because i got the video yesterday from tim devine (thanks for recording it):

and for all the (mac owning) Incredible Machine fans (and especially for tim) – i uploaded a little game from 1994 to my server:


money money money

hello dear fellow robot builders,

since a few of us have paid in advance for the food everyone enjoyed in the last few days it would be great if we could make a list who paid which amount of money and then split the total amount..

to start the list: i paid 37,44 for saturdays food.

if you also paid something in advance just add your name and the amount you spent as a comment..

cheers david

Rube Goldberg Machine update

I decided to start with the shot-serving-mechanism because this should be the heart of my machine.

Lever: First step was cutting the lever to the right size. Drilling a hole into the middle and welding the pipe through the lever, in order to make it easier to swing arround.

Bottleholder: After some rather unsuccessful bottle holding ideas (twirling the wire around the bottle like a spring) I switched to a different construction which works pretty well. It is stable and the bottle is well secured. Only problem: changing the bottle is due to the current mechanism rather difficult.

Frame: First thing I actually had to calculate (thx to Bager and Mark for helping there). Cutting and smoothing the edges was a lengthy process, but since I had a clear goal it was ok. Shervin helped me with the welding and it all worked out in the end – at least more or less.

Todo for tomorrow: Cleaning the frame, making the frame straight, creating the rails on the lever, creating the ball insert mechanism, maybe also a glass holder, hopefully succeeding in finding the right balance for the lever and the bottles

shot serving machine (working title)

typical rube goldberg machine

typical rube goldberg machine

As I mentioned in the last session: I want to make a Rube Goldberg machine for this years roboexotica, which serves you a shot if you feed it a small ball.
The difference to “typical” machines like this will be, that mine should be able to run multiple times – normally you can only start the machine ones and then you have to rebuild it.

The machine will be approximately 1x1x1m

Things the machine will need:
– wood or metall pieces – for the frame
– a couple of metal springs – for the lever
– lots of metal clotheshangers – for the rail of the ball (i’ll provide them)
– golf balls (i’ll provide them)
– screws and nuts
– some sort of rope
– small wheels or rolls for the rope (maybe cut a stick into smaller pieces and carving a track into it)
– counterweight
– alcohol bottle (i’ll provide this)
– drink portioner (i’ll provide this)
– shot glasses (i’ll provide them)

If you have any questions, remarks or whatever, just leave a comment.

cheers david

edit: a first digital mockup showing the start mechanism and the shot-serving mechanism

mockup of start mechanism and shot serving meachanism

mockup of start mechanism and shot serving mechanism

Rube Goldberg machines

quote from wikipedia

A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately over engineered machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion, usually including a chain reaction

For the musicvideo “This Too Shall Pass” (2010) the band OK Go built in collaboration with the members of Syyn Labs a huge Rube Goldberg machine into a two story warehouse:

The Bravery made for their song “An honest Mistake” (2005) a video which features also a Rube Goldberg maching:

In the PC-game series “The incredible Machine” (first version published 1992) the user had to create a series of Rube Goldberg devices to perform simple tasks: