A Rube Goldberg Machine is an apparatus purposefully over-engineered that performs a simple task in a more complex manner. This machine got it’s name from american cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg. This expression is also used to describe a confusing or overly complicated system.
A Rube Goldberg is “a comically involved, complicated invention, laboriously contrived to perform a simple operation.”
You can see many video examples of Rube Goldberg contraptions on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rube+goldberg+machine&aq=0&oq=rube+gold
To put it in extremely simple terms, a Rube Goldberg is a system of different parts that each trigger the next to perform a fuction which helps create the final product. For example, in junior high I had to create a Rube Goldberg. I decided that I wanted mine to make a root beer float at the end. I set up about 8 different parts which all helped a board to be moved at the end and dump the rootbeer into a cup with ice cream it in.
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