Our team shattered the Guinness World Record for the largest Rube Goldberg machine ever (at the time) with a 244-step juggernaut that destroyed the planet several times over before restoring hope by watering and growing a flower.
Machine Task: Water a Plant
Step Count: 244, earning us a Guinness World Record for "Largest Rube Goldberg Machine." The previous record was a machine with 232 steps.
Machine Build Type: One-Take Style - filmed from start to finish in only one unedited clip, which we achieved after 7 months and 3,500+ hours designing and building this record-breaking contraption.
Years Built: 2010 - 2011
Additional Info: One of the biggest challenges was that we were all college students. I was trying to motivate a team of 17 total members to give up their free weekends and evenings, all for a machine that runs three times at a competition.
Fun Fact: The original task for 2011 was "to take a record and flip it over, then play it." However, that task was deemed too difficult and was changed to "Water a Plant." Not ones to shy away from a challenge, we managed to squeeze solving the original task into our design, seen here.
The machine traced world history from the Big Bang to an apocalypse triggered by the Four Horsemen: Bob Barker, Dirty Harry, Darth Vader, and Woody the "Toy Story" cowboy. Along the way, the world is humorously destroyed by a meteor, an ice age, the great flood, World War II, and an alien invasion.
Rube Goldberg's granddaughter, Jennifer George, has consistently praised this machine as the best & funniest machine she's ever seen at competition. "This contraption spoke to Rube's humor the most," said Jennifer. "You have a smile on your face from the moment you lay eyes on it."