OK Go + Huge Rube Goldberg Machine FTW

So there’s this Chicago-based rock group called OK Go. They have a new album out called “Of the Blue Colour of the Sky.”

They’re well-known for their viral videos, especially this one. The hit single off their new album is the song “This Too Shall Pass.” For this song, they created two videos that instantly went viral. The first was them performing the song with the help of the Notre Dame marching band.

But the video that’s been getting the most attention is their Rube Goldberg Machine video. For those of you who don’t know what that means, basically a Rube Goldberg machine is a device that performs a simple task in a long and complicated fashion. Here’s one of the most famous examples:

An article on Wired details exactly how the OK Go video was made.

“A Rube Goldberg machine is in its essence a trial-and-error thing,” Adam Sadowsky, the president of Syyn Labs, told Wired.

Sadowsky explained how many tiny details needed to be just right for the machine’s timing to work out.

For example, the wooden tracks used to guide metal balls at the beginning of the video had to be cleaned and waxed to keep dust from slowing down the balls and making them stick. And the angle of that board was set at a precise 3.4 degrees of incline, which was perfect for the timing but sometimes led the balls to jump the track.

Given that each of the machine’s dozens of stages need comparably precise adjustments, it all adds up to a lot of labor by a lot of people.

“It took about a month and a half of very intense work, with people on-site all the time,” Sadowsky said.

Sadowsky estimates that 55 to 60 people worked on the project in all. That includes eight “core builders” who did the bulk of the design and building, along with another 12 or so builders who helped part-time. In addition, Syyn Labs recruited 30 or more people to help reset the machine after each run.

I cannot stop watching this video. It is just too amazing. Hmm. That might be an idea for the show next semester. We should design our own Tech tAUk Rube Goldberg Machine…

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