Rube Goldberg Testing the Machine

Testing was hard work, because I had to do so many repetitions to try to figure out what went wrong each time and try to figure out how to fix it until I got it right.  My machine has 9 steps and all of them had to tested before they could be put in the final design.  Some of the steps I wanted did not pass the test.

For example I wanted to include a swinging hammer but it wasn’t practical and I realized that it wouldn’t work.  I replaced the hammer with plastic baseball bat strapped to a stool. The bat wasn’t right the first time either, I had to figure out how to connect it to the ramp so that it would hit the rocket.  The bat had to tested different in ways to get it to hit the rocket in the right place.  One way was to put a bucket of dominoes behind it, then I got the stool and added the bungee cords.

The dominoes were hard to test with.  Every time I tested the machine and it didn’t work I would have to put them back up and sometimes they would fall before I was done putting them back up. This happened multiple times and I got REALLY aggravated.  And the worst time was when I bumped the table and they all fell down and triggered the rest of the machine and I had to set it back up again.  The good thing is that I learned what parts of the machine worked well or not.  One of things I learned by messing up the dominoes was how to make the truck work with enough power.

Another thing I learned from testing the machine was that the cup tower had to be smaller than I planned so that the football would hit the soccer ball in the right spot.  I did this by removing the top cup from the tower.  Another revision I made to this was moving the cup tower closer or father from the rocket to get it into the right spot.  I needed to get the cup tower in the right spot so that rocket would it correctly so the football would hit the soccer ball into the goal.

Over a few days, I estimate that I spent between 12-15 hours testing my machine.



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