A group of engineering students at Purdue University set a new world record for the largest Rube Goldberg machine with a 300-step contraption tasked with inflating and popping a balloon.
The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers featured its creation at the university's annual Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, where it placed second, though it still broke a new record for having the most steps. The team held the previous record with a 244-step machine.
The 14-person team spent around 5,000 hours over six months building the contraption, Wired reported.
One of the biggest challenges is that we are all college students. I'm trying to motivate 14 total people to give up their free weekends and evenings, and all it leads up to is a machine that runs three times at a competition, Zach Umperovitch, the team's president, told Wired. Technically, our biggest challenge was building the steam locomotive engine -- it took us 600 hours.
According to the rules of the competition, the machine had to fit within 200 cubic feet. The machine used rotating flaps, each fitted with multiple components, to carry out various tasks.
In addition to inflating and popping a balloon, the machine accomplished 24 tasks from previous years, including peeling an apple, putting together a hamburger, juicing oranges and loading a disc into a CD player.
See the machine in action below: