P13731: Educational Rube Goldberg


Project Summary Project Information

Mission Statement: The purpose of the MSD Rube Goldberg Machine is to display a semi-permanent mechanical assembly that will demonstrate fundamentals of engineering and the capabilities of Multidisciplinary Senior Design. The machine will educate viewers on the complexity of engineering systems and will perform a simple task at the end that will attract users to the machine. The goal is to raise awareness about the capabilities of Multidisciplinary Senior Design.

Project Description:

This Rube Goldberg machine is intended to be a high visibility, semi-permanent installation that can be displayed and run repeatedly,automatically resetting for the next user. The machine will contain sub-assemblies that demonstrate the engineering principles students have been educated in during their time here at RIT. The sub-assemblies will cover the engineering science courses taken in the Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, and Industrial Systems Engineering departments. It will be by nature a mechanically heavy project, but other disciplines will be necessary for completion, and will add a tremendous amount of value to the team.The display will be accompanied by detailed descriptions of the various systems involved in the Rube Goldberg Machine. The machine will naturally attract people to it, and while they are viewing it they will be educated about engineering. Many of the systems in the machine may end up looking very simple, but with the proper supplemental material, viewers will be able to understand how intricate the processes actually are. Engineering calculations made in the design of the machine are an example of documentation that would enhance a viewers understanding of the internal processes, similar to science museum exhibits. The interface between subsystems will be well defined. This will allow future Senior Design teams to add on to this machine, so this may be a continuously growing project. Younger students may be inspired by this display and want to propose their own additions as their future Senior Design project.

For an extensive overview of the project description, click on the following link for the Project Readiness Package.

We have condensed the Project Readiness Package into a 1 Page Summary here for any easier, quicker read.

Multidisciplinary Senior Design At RIT

Multidisciplinary Senior Design At RIT

Project Name
Educational Rube Goldberg Machine
Project Number
Project Family
High Visibility
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Gerald Geravuso, gxgddm@rit.edu
Primary Customer
Mark Smith, contact
Senior Design Department

Team Members

Team P13731 top row first: Kyle, John, Jimmy, Dan, Maddie

Team P13731 top row first: Kyle, John, Jimmy, Dan, Maddie

Member Role E-Mail Phone
James Parks ME/Project Manager jnp1346@rit.edu (585) 216-7128
Kyle Schmitz ISE/Lead Engineer kjs9631@rit.edu (518) 817-3606
Dan Spiers ME/Upper Management Liaison das4284@rit.edu
John Rizzo EE/Resource Manager jjr9450@rit.edu (315) 592-1960
Maddie Burke ME/Team Facilitator mmb7127@rit.edu (410) 978-9740


MSD I MSD II Subsystem Educational Information

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution I

Systems Design

Detailed Design

Project Review I

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution II

Build, Test, Document

Project Review II

Final Presentation

Technical Paper


Subsystem 1 - Accepted to RIT

Subsystem 2 - Freshman Year

Subsystem 3 - Sophomore Year

Subsystem 4 - Co op Experience

Subsystem 5 - Junior Year

Subsystem 6 - Senior Year

Subsystem 7 - Graduation