For this project, we were to make a Rube Goldberg that was 2 feet by 2 feet by 3 feet. It had to have had at least 12 steps and have at least 2 simple machines used. An object was to be raised at least 12 inches. We could not have explosives, fire, CO2 cartridges, smoke, knives, razor blades, dangerous flying objects, or dangerous/toxic chemicals, live animals such as hamsters, parrots domesticated goldfish, feral goldfish, or premade rube goldbergs.
Our Rube watered a plant. I started with a pendulum that swung and hit a hockey puck that rooled and knocked over weights, activating the pulley. Then, a gate was released and a wheel and axle rolled down a ramp and hit the dominoes. The last domino had thumbtacks and popped (or pushed down) a ballon that was holding another pendulum. Then, that pendulum hit a ball that was sitting ready to be pushed down the next ramp. Finally, the ball hit the scissors which cut the string, releasing the cup that was holding the water onto the plant.
What steps were most challenging to make work? The steps that were the most challenging were the domino track and the pendulums. The dominoes would always fall to the wrong side and then it wouldn’t get to the end so the balloon wouldn’t pop. The first pendulum missed the hockey puck or it would stop it from continuing to go. The second pendulum wouldn’t always hit the ball.
What one physics concept from your analysis is most important to the overall function of your rube? The pulley was very important to the function of our rube. Without it, we wouldn’t have met the requirement of something being lifted and the wheel and axle couldn’t work. If we didn’t have this, the scissors couldn’t have been cut and the plant wouldn’t be watered. What was the hardest part of doing this project, how did you persevere? The hardest part of the project was making the dominoes fall all the way and making the balloon pop. We put weights on the dominoes, so it made it easier, but they still didn’t fall every time.