Sunday, April 17, 2016

Matt's Individual Rube Goldberg 2

Individual Rube Goldberg:

1. Provide the computer drawing for your individual RG setup.

2. Explain your setup.

My circuit will be engaged by a simple switch. Ben should have something that physically pushes the switch. When the switch is closed, it will run a certain voltage value through a relay, which will be higher than the threshold voltage (6v). On the output end of the relay will be a motor that will spin and knock over some dominos. The dominos will trail towards a styrofoam ball. Once the ball is struck, it will fall down a track onto one end of a seesaw, lifting the other end. On the other end, there will be a thumbtack, which will rise and strike, hopefully popping, a balloon. The balloon explosion then should knock over the dominos of the person after me, engaging their circuit.

3. Provide photos of the circuit and setup.
This is a picture of my circuit. It has a switch connected to a relay, which is connected to a motor. 

4. Provide at least two videos of your setup in action, one being a failed attempt.
This is a video showing that the circuit does in fact trip the relay and spin the motor when the switch is pushed.
This is a video showing how the teeter-totter set up should work.

This is a video showing that the styrofoam ball would not be heavy enough to pop the balloon. Failure attempt
The styrofoam was replaced with a marble and the track was made skinnier. Successful attempt at popping the balloon.

5. What failures did you have? How did you overcome them?

My first and most frequent failure was arranging the balloon to the proper position. The pin would either hit the balloon and bounce right back down without popping it, or it would pop the balloon successfully, but the dominos behind the balloon would not fall over. I overcame the balloon not popping situation by filling the balloon with air to the point where the slightest contact with the pin would force it to pop. I have yet to figure out a way of making something physical happen with dominos after the popping of the balloon.

My biggest problem with my RG set up is that the circuit is too basic for a circuits class. I tried to use a touch sensor to trip the relay but it was not working with me. I have added an LED to show when the power is switched on. I'm thinking about adding a timer before the motor begins to spin, to add more time and circuitry to my set up. 

6.  Group task: Explain your group RG set up.

Ben will begin by receiving a voltage source from someone before him. When his circuit powers on, a motor will pull a string attached to a fan. When the fan is pulled, a lego barrier will be lifted, allowing a toy car to roll down a hill, where it will hit a marble. The marble will roll down a lego track. It will fall down a ramp, where it will strike my switch, hopefully with enough force. The switch will power on my circuit, allowing my motor to hit the dominos over, reaching a point where the dominos knock a bar into a marble, causing the marble to fall down the track and land on the teeter-totter device. On the opposite end of the teeter totter is a thumbtack, which will pop a balloon, hopefully causing another set of dominos to fall over. 

7. Video of a test run of your group RG. 

We have yet to make a video together, as we are working on making a way for bens marble to trigger the switch with a good amount of force. This is more difficult than it seems but I think we can figure it out.


  1. So it's your balloon that has been popping in class, Matt! Looks like it's working! I like that you include a photo of the circuit schematic AND one of what is happening mechanically.

  2. Matt, I like how you use two different diagrams to explain your RG. It makes it very easy to follow. I think your idea is pretty unique and it will be cool to see.

  3. Your diagrams look great and make your RB easy to understand. I had some issues with trying to make my circuit more involved too, but if you have something that works, why mess with it :) The balloon has been keeping everyone on their toes in class, keep up the good work

  4. Sorry for the late comment. Really well done blog. I like how many physical actions you have in the setup. I hope you can get it running more reliably for Wednesday!