P13731: Educational Rube Goldberg

Systems Design

Table of Contents


This section aims to show other Rube Goldberg Machines that have been successfully created and displayed before. For each machine, there are certain aspects that will be highlighted as being strengths of that project. Ultimately the Rube Goldberg MSD project would aim to incorporate as many of these aspects into the final project.

OKGO Needing Getting

OKGO Needing Getting

OKGO Needing Getting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MejbOFk7H6c

This is a large Rube Goldberg machine that is triggered by driving a car through an extensive course of instrumental tracks. The overall theme of this project is the song that is played throughout the operation of the machine. Wearing matching outfits in bright colors highlights the members of the band driving the car.

 OKGO This Too Shall Pass

OKGO This Too Shall Pass

OKGO This Too Shall Pass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w

This is another video done by the band OKGO. The entire machine is perfectly timed to go along to the music of the song. This set up is large so that it is easy to view every step of the machine.

The Jollyball Machine

The Jollyball Machine

The Jollyball Machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3ewRzStuDs

Located in the Science & Industry Museum in Chicago. This machine is against one wall in the museum. The bright colors and numerous moving parts attract viewers to the machine. There is a guardrail to prevent viewers from messing up any of the parts of the machine. The main object that travels through is a medium sized metal ball. The overall set up of the machine does a great job of combining art and engineering into one impressive display.

Purdue Time Machine Rube Goldberg

Purdue Time Machine Rube Goldberg

Purdue Time Machine Rube Goldberg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdPDn1KUz_A

This machine had a very high number of steps to the process. One of the most interesting things was the theme chosen. The “Time Machine” walks through the history of the world with each step of the machine displaying a different historical event or time period. The process of the machine does not just go through the steps; it successfully tells a story using a combination of engineering and art.

Red Bull: The Athlete Machine

Red Bull: The Athlete Machine

Red Bull: The Athlete Machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0jmSsQ5ptwThis extensive Rube Goldberg machine successfully displays the talents of numerous type of athletes through combined machine steps.
Google: Science Fair Experiment Extended

Google: Science Fair Experiment Extended

Google: Science Fair Experiment Extended: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7oJfK4E7RY

This commercial for a Google Science Fair competition creates a Rube Goldberg machine that travels through different science project topics as the different subsystems. This is one option for how the MSD Rube Goldberg could be approached. Each step could illustrate a previous or current MSD project topic.

Concept Development

To display our concept development through phases we took a series of photographs of our brainstorming sessions as they were narrowed down through a group consensus. We based each decision on whether it met the customer's needs, feasibility, and how much attention it would get in order to fulfill the requirement to be viewed by the most possible amount of people possible. A selection of the photos is displayed in the Concept Selection document.

Functional Decomposition

The Function Tree demonstrates all the necessary functions of our project and how they relate to our top level deliverable.

Systems Architecture

The following spreadsheet: Subsystem Specification Spreadsheet was developed to summarize each subsystem and how it works. The spreadsheet includes:

Risk Assessment

The Risk Assessment spreadsheet has been developed to prepare for potential failures that may occur throughout MSD I and MSD II. This list displays each potential risk along with the likelihood and severity of the event occurring, a description of how we will minimize the risk and who is responsible for the action. A more detailed description of the likelihood, severity, and "Importance Scoring" is shown at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Systems Design Review

Our SDR presentation can be viewed by here


MSD I MSD II Subsystem Educational Information

Photo Gallery

Planning & Execution I

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