Send the ASME Rube Goldberg machine to Ohio
Who we are
We are UT ASME’s Rube Goldberg team. We have been working hard to build a Rube Goldberg machine for this annual competition since September, and we need your help bringing our machine to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the college national competition on April 9th. For more information about the Rube Goldberg competitions, go here.
What is a Rube Goldberg machine?
A Rube Goldberg machine is an absurdly complicated machine to perform a simple task. This simple task may be just flipping a single page in a book to making breakfast. No matter the task the machine is set to complete, all Rube Goldberg machines start with one human touch. After this touch, the machine must then conserve that initial energy to complete the simple task.
Our Rube machine is 6’x6’x5.5’ in size and contains 40 steps to open an umbrella. The theme is environmental preservation, or rather, what happens when we don’t protect the environment. Littering can have detrimental effects on the environment, and these effects are demonstrated through our machine. The machine features pulleys, marbles, 3D printed boats, weights, mousetraps, and lots of fishing line! To see the explanation of the machine, go here, and to see a perfect run through, go here.
We plan to rent a car and a trailer to drive the machine to Ohio for the competition on April 9th at 12:00pm. We will arrive on April 8th and stay two nights. The funds we raise will go toward rental costs, gas, lodging, and food.
Why do we Rube?
This is a good question. The machine that we built is an extremely unproductive way to open an umbrella. The final goal is not to complete the simple task, it is to gain experience building and develop an engineering mindset. The biggest lesson learned from building a Rube Goldberg machine is how to deal with failure. We may have a step that was designed well, but when we bring it to life, it doesn't work as planned. We have dealt with this struggle since September, but we constantly work hard to fix every problem that we face. Through this journey, we have made ourselves into productive engineers and created a family along the way.
Moving our machine
What's so great about Rube Goldberg?
Rube Goldberg machines are an amazing way to learn about engineering concepts and gain hands-on building experience. They are also good tools for STEM outreach, which helps children get excited about engineering at a young age. We demonstrated our machine at Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Explore UT and the kids loved it. This was a great way for us to give back to the community and inspire children to become engineers.
Showing the machine to kids at our showcase