2007 National Rube Goldberg Contest

Uploaded by PurdueUniversity on 16.11.2007

>> The 19th annual National Rube Goldberg Competition brought
teams of student engineers
from across the nation to Purdue University.
Their mission - accomplish a simple, every day task
in the most complicated, inventive,
amusing way they can conceive and create.
This year's task, squeeze the juice from an orange
and pour it into a glass.
A minimum of 20 steps required.
Flames, explosives, and live animals prohibited.
>> The Rube Goldberg contest is fantastic.
It is really, really great to see the things
that these kids come up with, and I like to come,
I like to bring my grandkids so that they can see
that science is fun, and maybe get them interested
in science in the future.
It's just a really, really neat contest.
>> The host Boilermakers hope to build
on their four-year win streak
with the help of secret agent 00J.
The team of mostly Rube rookies invested nearly 3,000 man hours
creating the machine filled
with high-tech gadgetry including a ping pong orange
perilously balanced on a pillar of air plucked
from doom by a steel claw.
The captain maxed out his credit card as the team worked straight
through spring break adding 20 new steps to the machine
after regional competition.
>> One more step is one more chance of failure.
So where does that happen
that we can get it working properly when we need it to.
>> Determined to better last year's second-place finish,
Ferris State created a would-be juggernaut with piles
of toys purchased at thrift shops and garage sales.
When they were done, they had an astounding 345 steps.
>> Reset time really increases, and you also have the chance
of knocking stuff over
and having false triggers while the machine is running.
That was one issue that we really had problems where,
you know, something heavy would move, and we'd have to pull
out triggers and stuff.
That just adds that much more complications to it.
>> The first competitor,
tiny Washington State Community College from Ohio,
offered a competent
yet relatively uncomplicated amusement park themed machine.
The University of Cincinnati and Hofstra University both turned
to Indiana Jones to bring home the prize.
Alas, problems arose such as a rampaging armed boulder getting
stuck in a mountain tunnel
and a vine-clinging little Indy swinging wide of his target.
Purdue backed itself into a corner
when its floating ping pong ball failed to float
for the first time ever.
>> A team from Purdue University has elected
to void their run here in round one.
>> Oh. Can I please have some orange juice?
>> Building of the orange juice theme, Penn State traveled
through several Florida theme parks where Indiana Jones,
again, performed death-defying stunts, and "Pirates
of the Caribbean" sailed to the end of the world.
Trouble arrived when the team failed
to trigger the "Dumbo" ride.
Texas A&M performed well enough in just its second year
of competition to take third place
with its mad scientist theme.
The University of Texas team was forced to withdraw
after the rough ride from Austin rendered their machine unfit
for service.
Ferris State's machine lived up to its hype
when its toy factory ran flawlessly to its conclusion.
>> [cheering]
>> During Ferris State's second run,
one required human intervention
to free a stuck golf ball created a small window
of opportunity for Purdue to maintain its title.
Purdue did achieve one flawless run, but during the final run,
a small ball bearing stuck
in a shoot just inches from the final step.
>> Twelve guys, you know, that have never done this before,
like, have done little things in high school
that [inaudible] a competition like this, and one guy, he just,
you know, everything, making it to nationals
and being second, I feel pretty good.
First would have been better.
>> By sticking to the whimsical style of cartoonist,
Rube Goldberg, Ferris State took home the national title.
>> If you know that you're [inaudible].
So there was no fear that we wouldn't win,
especially after I, after I had a human intervention
on the second run.
However, that feeling kind of went away
when Purdue had a human intervention
in their second run.
At that point in time, we knew
that both schools had one perfect run and one run
with a human intervention.
So, therefore, we'd be evenly matched as far
as the way we competed today.
Ultimately, it came down to style points, overall theme,
[inaudible] style steps.
>> Now the team is pondering opportunities
to show off its creation on network news and talk shows.