RFID Rube Goldberg device


14 Responses to “RFID Rube Goldberg device”

  1. Daemon says:

    An interesting concept, but that’s about as far as it goes.

    The little steel balls involved in most goldberg machines are infinately more appealing.

  2. cmacis says:

    I love rube goldbergs. And this is no exception.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Of course, being Londoners they would probably say ‘Heath Robinson’ instead of ‘Rube Goldberg’. Different bloke, same cultural reference point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heath_Robinson

  4. Patrick Arcee says:

    I appreciated how they put some fun into a something that isn’t all that fun in by itself,

    yet at the same time I can’t help noticing that this higher-tech machine totally lacks the charming glee of one made by everyday objects.


  5. Phikus says:

    The abacus was analogue too.

  6. imag says:

    Just reading people’s comments made me have to link to the immortal Honda ad.

    I watched it again for the first time since the month it came out. The RFID was clever, but this is true grace and magic, even if it is an advertisement:


  7. Phikus says:

    I thought it was a cool new twist of the rubes. Any of the purely physical ones could be just as direct as potentially an electronic one. The fact that it is entitled “Nearness” and each interface is from indirect interaction elevates this from science project to art for me. ;D

  8. xobmai says:

    yet at the same time I can’t help noticing that this higher-tech machine totally lacks the charming glee of one made by everyday objects.

    I felt the same way. If things aren’t actually audible and visibly banging into each other, it almost might as well be a physics simulation on the computer with poor collision detection – all the less impressive because we intuitively realize that the design need not be as precise physically given that rough proximity is good enough.

    I imagine it might be more impressive in person where remote action would (?perhaps) be a bit more mysterious. It might still suffer from too much of the same, though – from the lazy comfort of my sofa, I think it would probably work better as a fake-out in a device otherwise made with conventional mechanical connections, where one pass-off appears to fail mechanically only to be saved by RFID. As it is, it’s kind of the Phantom Menace of Rude Goldbergs.

  9. Takuan says:

    what’s wrong with electrons instead of little steel balls?

  10. RedShirt77 says:

    Something about using electronics makes it feel like cheating. Why not just have the first one activate the last one and be done with it?

  11. RedShirt77 says:

    Steel ball just uses gravity and maybe some spring action to power its movement and essentially a closed system. This thing needs to be either plugged in or have its batteries charged.

  12. professorD says:

    The “magic” and usefulness of RFID is NOT that it can “press a button” from a distance, which is all it’s doing in this video – it’s that each tag has a unique code that identifies it to the reader. This would be SOOOOOOOO much cooler if there were different tags that created patterns of different reactions, perhaps with an element of randomness thrown in from time to time. I think they have it wrong from the opening statement – will all due respect, it’s not proximity that matters with RFID, it’s more about the individual identities that anything equipped with a tag can have.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sweet! Super-size it!!!

  14. 2k says:

    I’d like to see you make it cute when you have to dig the mandatory implants outta yer arms to make another video.

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