Popping a balloon in one step is pretty easy. Popping a balloon in 300 unnecessarily complicated steps, that’s a new world record. Students at Perdue recently built the world’s largest Rube Goldberg machine.
The students at the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers built a contraption that blows up and pops a balloon in 300 steps. According to the International Business Times, the previous record was a 244 step machine.
Zach Umperovitch, the team’s president, said that the hardest part about building the machine was convincing the college students to give up their weekends. Umperovitch told Wired:
“One of the biggest challenges is that we are all college students. I’m trying to motivate 14 total people to give up their free weekends and evenings, and all it leads up to is a machine that runs three times at a competition. Technically, our biggest challenge was building the steam locomotive engine — it took us 600 hours.”
Umperovitch’s Rube Goldberg machine may be the new record holder, but surprisingly, it only came in second at the competition.
“My rule is to tell an intricate story and make people laugh, and have people sit down and go, ‘Wow!’ Since it was the [competition's] 25th anniversary, I thought, ‘Why don’t we have a machine that does it all?’”
Here’s the video of the world’s largest Rube Goldberg machine.