Awesome Machines

Cookie Dunking Machine

Cookie Dunking Machine

Because he was hungry, Sprice Machines built a ridiculously complicated chain-reaction machine that’s designed solely for dunking a cookie in milk. It doesn’t even do a good job doing that, but it’s entertaining to watch it get there. Stick around for lots of trial and error footage.

Butt-cleaning Robot

Butt-cleaning Robot

With hoarding surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been quite the run on toilet paper here in the U.S. While add-on bidet toilet seats are always an option, Mike of Useless Duck Company thinks he’s got a more thorough solution – though his approach might be just a little more painful. Kids, don’t try this at home.

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Epic LEGO Crane

Epic LEGO Crane

RC model fan Bordin Luca shows off a massive LEGO Technic build based on Jeroen Ottens‘ design for a Liebherr LTM 11200 construction crane. The nearly 8000-piece model features motorized support legs, and a huge, extendable tower. It’s featured alongside several other large RC vehicles in the eBook Bigscale RC Model.

Robot Dinosaur Factory

Robot Dinosaur Factory

Creature Technology creates incredible large-size animatronics for museums, theme parks, live shows, and other attractions. Bloomberg takes us inside the factory where they make giant mechanical bears, gorillas, and imposing life-size dinosaurs.

The Octo-Bouncer

The Octo-Bouncer

Electron Dust shows off a nifty machine that can bounce a ping pong ball, while keeping it balanced and centered on its moving platform. It uses combination of open-source image processing software and Arduino-controlled stepper motors to work its magic. More build details here.

Playing Card Shooter

Playing Card Shooter

There are professional card throwers out there who can land a playing card on its edge every time. But if you don’t possess those skills, you could always build a mechanical solution, like The Practical Engineer did. His motorized launcher can fire playing cards at speeds nearing 200km/h (or about 124 mph).

LEGO Robot GBC Module

LEGO Robot GBC Module

We’re surprised that LEGO machine expert JK Brickworks has never built a Great Ball Contraption module before, but his first one definitely lives up to his standards. Watch as four tiny LEGO robots work along an assembly line, each passing a ball to the next to move it down the line. It also appears to work as a hypnosis device.

LEGO Roulette Machine

LEGO Roulette Machine

While it’s not likely to be approved for use in an actual casino, Berthil van Beek’s motorized LEGO Technic roulette wheel is an impressive build. It’s designed to work as part of a larger great ball contraption, but is perfectly awesome all on its own. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets!

Mesmerizing Marble Machine

Mesmerizing Marble Machine

It may not play music like Wintergatan’s marble-powered musical instrument, but we still enjoyed listening to the soothing sounds and watching the hypnotic movements of this wooden marble machine, which serves as an example of the modules you can buy from its creator.

Matt and Mantis

Matt and Mantis

Guinness World Records introduces us to animatronics and robotics expert Matt Denton, and his prize-winning walking robot, Mantis. This gigantic, diesel-powered hexapod weighs in at nearly 4200 pounds, and can stomp around while an operator rides in its mid-section. Matt also happens to be the co-creator of BB-8.

The Dinner Feeder

The Dinner Feeder

It might spill a little food along the way, but Joseph’s Machines‘ ridiculous Rube Goldberg contraption does ultimately perform the task it’s intended for, feeding him a tasty meal of peas, potatoes, asparagus, and chicken, along with a cupcake and a nice cup of coffee, all without getting up from his desk.

DIY Cardboard Slot Machine

DIY Cardboard Slot Machine

The Q takes a gamble with this build – a fully-functional slot machine built from cardboard, popsicle sticks, and hot glue. We love the detail he included on the reels to make it look like the real deal. Stick around for a few other fun DIY builds in this compilation video.

Cable Braiding Machine

Cable Braiding Machine

This wild looking industrial machine is designed to take dozens of spools of thread and braids them together to wrap the exterior of a cable harness. We’re not quite sure why it doesn’t feed the cable through itself, and a human still has to do that work.

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The Mad Batter Machine

The Mad Batter Machine

As far as we know, the longest home run hit ever was 582 feet by Joey Meyer – and that was with the help of Denver’s thin air. But pesky human ball players are no match for Smarter Every Day and Jeremy Fielding’s terrifying motorized batter built to hit a ball at speeds up to twice as fast as an pro player – if it doesn’t self destruct first.

The Universal LEGO Sorter

The Universal LEGO Sorter

We’ve seen machines that can sort LEGO bricks before, but they’re generally limited to just a few specific shapes or colors. Daniel West’s machine is much smarter, using AI algorithms to identify and sort nearly 3,000 different LEGO shapes and colors. We think it’ll need more than 18 sorting bins to be really useful though.

The Robot Sculptor

The Robot Sculptor

These days, using machines to carve and sculpt is commonplace, but back in 1957 it was anything but. Back then, an ingenious inventor named George MacDonald Reid came up with a process that would snap 300 pictures of a subject’s head, then traced those images to carve it into a block of plaster, one section at a time.

Making Cookie Cutters

Making Cookie Cutters

Cookiecutter.com shares a brief look at a machine that transforms rings of metal into cookie cutters. It uses several, hydraulic tools to precisely push the metal against a central form. While the machine is amazing, for some shapes, they still use the old-fashioned method. Wow.

Self-Erecting LEGO Crane

Self-Erecting LEGO Crane

The Brick Wall is an expert at building LEGO Technic machines that perform various tasks. For this build, he created a complex mechanism that can drive itself to a location then self-assemble a tower crane when it comes to a stop. He uses it to build a LEGO skyscraper.

Thanos Sword Blender

Thanos Sword Blender

A while back, The Hacksmith built an impressive replica of Thanos’ dual-ended sword, but it was quite difficult to wield. Now, they’ve put the thing to good use, securely connecting the weapon to a motor, building a cinder block shield around it, and turning it into the world’s largest (and most terrifying) blender.

Makeway Marble Tracks

Makeway Marble Tracks

These fun-looking marble tracks mount on magnetic surfaces like some whiteboard and fridges, letting you create Line Rider-style courses that take full advantage of gravity. Available tricks will include a spinner, bell, launcher, catapult, a motorized lift and more. Launching soon on Kickstarter.

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Ugears Dynamometer

Ugears Dynamometer

Flat pack model maker Ugears 48-piece kit is one of their easier builds, yet it’s simply fascinating to watch. The mechanical contraption converts air pressure to movement, which in turn spins a pointer which acts as a sort of decision maker for the next task for you to work on.

Amazing Kinematic Mechanism

Amazing Kinematic Mechanism

This video from Quebec’s Laval University Robotics Laboratory shows off a really fascinating mechanism – unlike any we’ve seen before. By moving its jointed legs along two belt-driven lines, it’s able to maneuver its center gripper without any limitations on its rotation, as well as to change its height and overall position.

LEGO Frame Saw

LEGO Frame Saw

The Brick Wall has made some pretty nifty LEGO Technic machines over the years. This one continues his tradition of making them functional by including a pair of serrated blades which can rip through wood (or carrots). We love watching the grippy robot arms moving the pieces around.

How a Gumball Machine Works

How a Gumball Machine Works

It’s a requisite stop for every kid with change in their pocket. But have you ever wondered how dropping a coin into a gumball machine makes it dispense a chewy treat? Animator and explainer of things Jared Owen gives us a detailed breakdown of its mechanism.

Most Complicated Donuts

Most Complicated Donuts

In this fun video from Driving Line and Nitto Tire, they set up a Rube Goldberg-style chain reaction machine that eventually triggers some tire-smoking donuts by driver Ryan Tuerck. Along the way, there’s some paintball action, and a nasty looking knife-wielding drone, which thankfully didn’t slash any of the tires – or people.

The Machine that Made Everything

The Machine that Made Everything

The industrial revolution kicked off the biggest boom of innovation in the history of humanity. Machine Thinking looks back at one specific machine which came at the very start of that era that he considers as the linchpin for much of what came after.

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