Simple Machines // Intelligent Machines Contextual Essay

Machines are the driving forces that allow the world to circulate both in analogue and digital forms. The Rube Goldberg Machine can be recognised as a pinnacle symbol of man’s capacity of exerting maximum efforts to accomplish minimal results in a world perhaps where efficiency is marked to function in the opposite way. Technology in today’s era are allowing the transmission of data in all forms to be processed more efficiently and easily, therefore revolutionising facets of everyday life. Continue reading “Simple Machines // Intelligent Machines Contextual Essay”

The ‘Smart’ Home Rube Goldberg Machine


This is the final piece to my Digital Artefact, The finalised Rube Goldberg Machine expressing home automation through micro-controllers (ARDUINO).

I believe this work through my Digital Artefact deals with the elements of Cybernetics – through the way materials and technologies behave and communicate with each-other and the impact it has on Machines and the human experience of these systems. This constructed machine does indeed challenge and arouse the relationship human beings have with cyberspace, transforming a series of simple machines (The Rube Goldberg Machine) into that of artificial intelligence, automating the home in a RGM fashion to perform a simple task.

This work was heavily inspired by ‘Swarmanoid, The Movie’:


Through the ways that these technologies are brought to life and are able to gauge the environment around to the do their part in order to complete the mission. Effective communication between nodes have allowed for effective action.

The series of inputs/outputs for the Arduinos used within my Rube Goldberg Machine:

1: Input = Inferred Line Sensor // Output: Stepper Motor With Wheel

2: Input = Distance Sensor // Output Stepper Motor With Wheel 

3: Input = Distance Sensor // Output: Servo Motor


Below is a visual rundown of the machine before commencement. Just to gauge what each component of the machine is set up in order to understand the changes in direction when the machine is running:

Rube Goldberg Machine + ARDUINO // Ideas & Materials


Materials and Equipment are the fundamental foundation of all physical creations, the Rube Goldberg Machine can only function with effective use and application to the materials present. The potential of materials are endless, especially in my work where I explore those within the household concentrating their function away from conventional uses.

Theorist Manuel De Landa talks about how artists/ designers/ architects can work in partnership with materials. That is to understand the physicality of the materials you are working with (weight, size, mass, characteristics etc.).

  • What are some of materials you are using to build your Rube Goldberg Machine component?
  • What do you need them to do?
  • What is the most effective way of working with these materials?

I am challenging this theory and adapting it to new and emerging technologies such as the Arduino, converging the physical with the digital. How do the two behave with each other within the Rube Goldberg Machine and what parameters can be explored in doing so. I begin to ask:

  • What are the capabilities of these technologies toward normal materials?
  • Can this affect their conventional function?
  • Can these technologies bring life the the inanimate with data transmission?

Let me know your ideas and what materials and equipment you think would be effective combined with technologies like the Arduino in the construction of a Rube Goldberg Machine. I would love to here your thoughts, ideas and insights!

Arduino Play


This project is as much of a learning experiences and hub for myself along with you guys watching as well! The Arduino as a new and emerging technology can be really daunting. But this video is used to showcase my journey and encourage yours, playing, experimenting, becoming familiar with the device, the inputs & outputs and it’s capabilities through fun, simple circuits.

I was able to source so many different simple sketches online, which aided in the coding and construction of each module. With this exercise of play and interaction, I was able to gain a deeper insight with how technologies like the Arduino can be adapted to tasks far greater than a Rube Goldberg Machine. For example, on a larger scale, these open-sourced platforms can be incorporated heavily into industrial automation and can therefore be a factor to more efficient production lines –  just an interesting thought that came to me!

Let me know what you think and if you have/are experimented/experimenting with Arduino – What have you done/been working on?

Simple Machines // Intelligent Machines Pt. 2


It’s no secret that technology is dramatically transforming the ways in which machines operate. We’re witnessing a new revolution, led by a dynamic set of trends and pushed forward by digital disruptors. The ground is shifting beneath humans – mechanical apparatuses.  Continue reading “Simple Machines // Intelligent Machines Pt. 2”

Simple Machines // Intelligent Machines


A simple machine is a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of a force. In general, a simple machine can be defined as one of the simplest mechanisms that provide mechanical advantage. Simple machines are considered to be the “building blocks” of more complicated machines. Continue reading “Simple Machines // Intelligent Machines”