THE BEST Machines

LEGO Catch and Spin Robots

LEGO Catch and Spin Robots

Mechanical LEGO master Akiyuky shows off a fun Great Ball Contraption module. This one features two tiny robots who clap their hands awaiting a ball delivery, then spin around and drop them into the next stage when they detect one in their grabby mitts.

LEGO Ride of Blades

LEGO Ride of Blades

Take a trip on latest LEGO thrill ride from builder Shadow Elenter. Comprised of close calls with spinning saw blades, collapsing walls, and swinging swords, the ride plays out more like a level from God of War than an amusement park ride.

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The Staircase Treadmill

The Staircase Treadmill

Inventor and maker of crazy stuff Colin Furze decided to build himself one of the most torturous pieces of home fitness equipment ever – a treadmill that runs up the staircase. Our knees hurt just watching this one. Coming downstairs looks like fun though.

Coil Wrapping Machine

Coil Wrapping Machine

A wonderfully satisfying bit of engineering wizardry. What you’re looking at is a specialized industrial machine which spins a roll of plastic wrap around a freshly-milled steel coil until it’s fully protected for shipment. Here’s a slightly more sleepy look at a similar machine.

Keaton Music Typewriter

Keaton Music Typewriter

A brief demonstration of a rare piece of office equipment c. 1953. The Keaton Music Typewriter made it relatively easy to create sheet music much in the same way you’d type a letter. If you made a mistake, however, you’d have to wait until 1956 for correction fluid to be invented.

Transforming LEGO Howitzer Tank

Transforming LEGO Howitzer Tank

LEGO master Shadow Elenter shows off another impressive Technic build. His latest creation is a Howitzer style tank that weighs in at 12 pounds. It has working treads, and some amazing weaponry, including a massive gun that plants itself to handle its recoil.

The Robot Juggler

The Robot Juggler

We have a hard enough time keeping two balls in the air at the same time, but this robotic contraption is able to deftly juggle five balls at once. It’s even smart enough to detect when a ball is intentionally dropped and resumes without skipping a beat.

Polar Drawing Machine

Polar Drawing Machine

ft Robotics shows off a nifty Arduino Mega and Fischertechnik based plotter. Unlike other drawing machines which are driven by cartesian coordinates, this one uses polar coordinates. It draws by moving a pen along one axis, while a turntable rotates beneath its retractable pen.

Ink Oscillations / Drawing Machine

Ink Oscillations / Drawing Machine

French artist Parse/Error created a machine to produce his rhythmic and undulating line drawings. The designer conceives each image on a computer, while the machine acts as his hands and outputs his work. You can purchase original drawings in the Parse/Error shop.

11,000 Marble Run

11,000 Marble Run

Jelle’s Marble Runs shares a hypnotic look at a lengthy marble machine that sends 11,000 marbles cascading through ramps, tracks, teeter-totters, courses dotted with nails, and culminating with a tray that releases a flood of 10,000 marbles at once.

Golf Course Aerator Machine

Golf Course Aerator Machine

This brief demonstration of a machine designed to aerate lawns on golf courses is equal parts fascinating and terrifying, if you imagine how one might be used to gruesomely finish off a victim in a horror movie.

Noisy Marble Machine

Noisy Marble Machine

Denha shows off a mesmerizing machine that’s designed to produce a variety of soothing sounds as dozens of metal spheres move their way through its maze of metal tracks, spinning wheels, and moving stairsteps. It sounds sort of like a perpetual Pachinko machine.

How Plastic Bottles are Made

How Plastic Bottles are Made

Did you know that plastic bottles are blown like glass? Us neither. Here’s a look at a fascinating machine which takes small plastic tubes, heats them up, and then blows them into a mold to make water bottles. The same basic process is even used for big 5-gallon bottles.

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Milling Copper Rings

Milling Copper Rings

Watch as a solid block of copper is magically transformed into a set of linking rings with the help of talented metalsmith Viktor Leontiev and his trusty milling machine. The finished piece looks great set onto its hand-turned wooden base.

LEGO Halloween Candy Launcher

LEGO Halloween Candy Launcher

LEGO machine maker JK Brickworks follows up last year’s Halloween candy dispenser with an even better one. His latest machine spins round and round, and flings candy bars at the kids. Want one? Buy the LEGO 17101 BOOST Creative Toolbox, and follow the directions here.

Making Techno with Robots

Making Techno with Robots

Moritz Simon Geist performs electronic music with a tableful of strange and wonderful mechanical contraptions he built by hand. Each one makes a unique analog sound that combines to create a driving beat. Check out the making-of video to see how it all works.

LEGO Laser Projector

LEGO Laser Projector

Yoshihito Isogawa shows off another impressive build. He used LEGO Technic and Mindstorms parts, along with mirrors and a laser pointer to create a mechanism that can project laser patterns on the wall by rapidly modulating its reflector. Here’s another variant he also made.

Bending Chain Links

Bending Chain Links

A wonderfully satisfying bit of engineering porn showing off a slick modular tooling machine. The Bihler Leantool system is used in factories to form and cut wire and rolled metal into precisely bent shapes, such as chain links, hooks, and other small, high volume parts.

Skeletonics Exoskeleton Suit

Skeletonics Exoskeleton Suit

Skeletonics‘ 9+ foot tall, 88 lb. electro-mechanical exosuit is more puppet than practical work assistant, but it’s still pretty awesome. In addition to offering its wearer a lift on stilts, it gives them giant robot arms and individually-controlled bony fingers.

The Lunch Feeder

The Lunch Feeder

Like many of us, Joseph Herscher doesn’t always have time to get up from his desk to take a lunch break. So, he did what any enterprising inventor would do – he built himself an overly complicated Rube Goldberg machine to effortlessly feed himself a meal.

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LEGO Bubble Blower Machine

LEGO Bubble Blower Machine

Brick fanatic Sariel shows off one of his most creative builds yet – a LEGO machine that uses a rotating loop of bubble wands and and a spinning fan blade to blow soap bubbles. Yes, there are off-the-shelf machines that do the same, but they’re not made from LEGO.

Rolling a Steel Ring

Rolling a Steel Ring

Mesmerizing footage from inside QSC Forge, as a large ring of molten steel is gradually spun, flattened, and widened to form a smooth and perfectly round circle. Combined with a perfectly soothing soundtrack, the clip doubles as your daily 9-minute meditation.

LEGO Glockenspiel Automaton

LEGO Glockenspiel Automaton

LEGO fan Daniele Benedettelli shows off a nifty brick build – a little dude who plays a five key glockenspiel as his crank is turned. It can be “programmed” with music by adjusting the sequence of blocks on the chain below.

Removing a Foam Tire

Removing a Foam Tire

A high speed look at the process that goes into removing a foam-filled tire at the Sierra Army Depot. These tires are often used by heavy equipment to reduce the risk of punctures. Got 11 minutes to spare? Watch the original real-time video here.

Rube Goldberg Lemonade Machine

Rube Goldberg Lemonade Machine

Thirsty for some lemonade? If you’ve got 8 minutes to spare, you can have a glass, courtesy of this complex collaboration from machine makers Sprice Machines, DoodleChaos, TheInvention11, Hevesh5, 5MadMovieMakers, DrComplicated, and SmileyPeaceFun.

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