As regular readers well know by now, I’m a huge fan of Rube Goldberg devices. They are my favorite form of mechanical puzzling, because they not only require innovation and creativity, but it’s immediately obvious whether the device actually works or not.
It’s amazing how many different ways people have concocted to move marbles, lift objects, circumvent physical obstacles, and span distances with everything from household items to living creatures.
An intriguing variation on the Rube Goldberg device has been gaining steam on YouTube, though, and today, I’d like to shine a bit of a spotlight on the crafty designers behind them.
Essentially, these devices are as complex as Rube Goldberg devices, but they use fewer materials. The goal is to simply get the marble from one end to the other.
But restricting themselves to marbles, wooden blocks, tubes, magnets, and so on hasn’t limited their creativity in the slightest. If anything, it’s made them more inventive!
As you can see, each device is built on a slightly tilted table, so that gravity does the work of moving the marbles. But everything else, from slingshots to moving parts and triggers, is activated through clever mechanics.
The combination of timing, positioning, and creativity is entrancing at times, leaving you dumbfounded at how they’d ever conceived of these delightful obstacle courses to begin with.
Some are set to music while others tell little stories of adventure and romance, but all of them are mind-bendingly entertaining, often taking several viewings to catch everything going on!
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