Purdue's Rube Goldberg Machine Breaks World Record
Machine Had More Than 300 Total Steps
6:34 AM, Mar 31, 2012
A team from Purdue University has smashed a Guinness World Record for the largest Rube Goldberg machine ever with 300 total steps.The annual Rube Goldberg College Nationals competition was held at Purdue on Saturday.Eight teams of engineers from across the country competed to accomplish the simple task of blowing up and popping a balloon in the most complicated way possible.The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers' machine included an active steam engine, or boiler, as a nod to the school's mascot, and completed a number of intricate tasks along the way.But the effort wasn't enough to claim the championship. St. Olaf took first place, followed by Purdue and Penn State in third.St. Olaf's machine was based on the theme of an apocalypse and included a Mayan calendar, erupting volcano and an Earth-style balloon that exploded into a cloud of white smoke.Still, Purdue's team broke the record they were aiming for and took home prizes for best single move and People's Choice.Next year's simple task will be to hammer a nail.The contest is named for the late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who was known for whimsical drawings of complicated devices performing simple tasks.