Leo Burnett’s Susan Credle named my Goldieblox Rube Goldberg machine as one of her favorites in this year end wrap-up from the Wall Street Journal.
George P. Johnson started out 100 years ago making flags and buntings for parades and other things, and because of its location in Detroit, also started getting involved in figuring out how to show people what those “automobile” things were all about.
You could say they invented the Auto Show: you know that thing where the car is on the turntable and rotates around? They invented that.
A century later, they’re a multinational corporation with facilities on five continents, and are major players in the field of experience marketing.
I was asked to create a little machine as a “holiday card” for clients, etc:
I am Myspace’s featured Artist of the Day for December 5, 2013! Cool beans.
GoldieBlox is a company that makes really neat engineering toys geared towards girls. I worked with them to create this Rube Goldberg Machine in October and November of 2013. The build took about 2 1/2 weeks, and I had a crew of 5, including Paul Thompson, Craig Simmons, Robin Carpenter, Eric Mesple, and Rebecca Thompson. Craig Nakano of the Los Angeles Times wrote a great piece about the project here. It’s also been in the New York Times, IEEE Spectrum, Forbes, and a host of other news outlets worldwide. The video’s success has even brought attention to other contestants in Intuit’s “Small Business, Big Game“ superbowl contest (vote often!).
Here’s a video of me explaining a bit of the machine:
UPDATE: The original video that had gone viral (scoring 9 million views in one week) was replaced with new music. The revised video has been posted above.
I was interviewed by Justin Nobel in this great piece in www.sciencefriday.com!
I created 75 of these little machines for Google. They were given as gifts to people who had been speakers at the Zeitgeist Americas 2012 conference. The parts were waterjetted from 16 gauge stainless steel, then welded together and powdercoated. I did a run of 4 different colors to match Google’s pallette, and the parts were mixed and matched in the assembly.
It’s operated by lighting the little copper alcohol lamp at the lower left hand corner of the photo. It heats a pressure vessel that then moves a piston, releasing a little steel ball to roll down a track. It falls into a basket and is then dumped off onto a magnetic ball catcher.
This sets a little pendulum oscillating.
The oscillating pendulum moves this little lever and after a couple of cycles, the lever disengages the red catch. The catch releases the pressure vessel, which falls and snuffs out the lamp.
This video shows the process a little bit better.
I was commissioned by Mohawk Digital and The M.A.D.E. agency to design and build this machine for Cellairis, maker of protective gear for smart phones. The Twitter Punisher is an automated typewriter whose keys are actuated by solenoids. It is driven by software written by Tom Jennings. The system scrapes a twitter feed for messages with a specific hashtag, then types out individual messages into the screen of a smart phone, eventually destroying the screen. It was built to demonstrate the strength of Cellairis’ “Shell Shock” screen protector.
This past October, I was in Orange County CA building this machine for Red Bull. I was a lead engineer working with about 20 other very talented builders. We shot it at the former El Toro Marine Base, (now known as The Great Park). I served in a supervisory capacity for most of it, but was directly responsible for the parts between Rickie Fowler and Danny Macaskill, Ryan Sheckler and Drew Bezanson, and Bryce Menzies and Rhys Millen. If you look really close after Bryce’s run, the rocket has my initials on it.
It was really gratifying to be able to work with such skilled people. At every level, we were working with some of the best people in their fields in the world, and I think it showcased the machine very well.
The El Toro Marine Base was at one point the largest lima bean field in the world.