Wednesday, March 10, 2010

OK GO's Rube Goldberg Contraption

A word of warning - today's post is a bit of a stretch (it's only marginally LEGO-related) and some of the sites linked to from this post feature mild language. For obvious reasons, I can't control the level of insanity we see in comments on other sites. My choice of "making of" link is one of several, and some of the others contain some language that I try not to link to.

...but really, that's not what warrants a "don't try this at home". Read on to be inspired.
For today, here's something completely different - a large Rube Goldberg Machine that features a LEGO section. Later on in this video, we get to see a large racecar used as part of the contraption (in case this isn't clear - kids, DO NOT try this one at home. I cannot be held responsible for any smashed televisions, splatter-painted walls, messy warehouses, or other shenanigans inspired by this video). The LEGO portion of the machine features a Technic model of the racecar that appears later on. The car is triggered by a Power Functions-based launcher that is triggered by something flying across the room. Similarly, when the car is finished moving across the table with the LEGO section on it, it triggers the next mechanism by way of a flying rope - and then the next part of the machine actually plays part of the song. The LEGO whimsy here isn't strictly functional, though - in the picture below you can see the "concert" dome, where a colorful assortment of minifigures is watching a band perform. Not far behind that is a mosaic of the band's name (oh, did I mention this was a music video? The band wisely lets the machine steal the show).

The machine was created for the band OK GO (yes, of treadmill dancing fame, and yes, I know there's already a LEGO knockoff of that video). The machine was created by Synn Labs. has a fairly thorough description of the process, although the nature of a project this large is that there are quite a few people out there who were involved in building the machine and are discussing it in various venues. I'm yet to see anything specific about the LEGO portion, but let's face it - this is just spectacular overall.

A still photo of most of the LEGO section:

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