Rube Goldberg Machine Pops Balloon in 300 Steps

Purdue engineering students also pop Guinness record
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2012 4:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – Purdue University engineering students can't say they hate to pop our balloon. In fact their 14-person team spent about 5,000 hours building a Rube Goldberg machine designed to blow them up and pop them, Wired reports. It also makes toast, juices oranges, puts stamps on envelopes, and does a few other things. “My rule is to tell an intricate story and make people laugh, and have people sit down and go, ‘Wow!’” says team president Zach Umperovitch.

He also wanted to win the Rube Goldberg Machine contest—which crowns the makers of the most elaborately over-designed gizmo dedicated to performing a simple task. Alas, they lost to a 191-step machine with an end-of-the-world theme from St. Olaf College. But the Purdue engineers' device boasted a whopping 300 steps, breaking their own Guinness record for biggest Rube Goldberg machine ever.

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