Purdue Engineers Win Rube Goldberg Regional
By devising a less efficient way to make orange juice, the Purdue University Society of Professional Engineers took top honors at the 24th annual Rube Goldberg Regional Machine Contest. This is the third year in a row that the professional engineers' team has won Purdue's regional competition and the second it has claimed the People's Choice Award, voted on by the more than 1500 who attended the event, held Saturday at the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, Ind. The machine, which required 134 steps to squeeze juice from an orange and pour the juice into a glass, was judged the most effecitve combination of creativity with inefficiency and complexity. The team's concept involved a secret agent who broke into a casino, drove his Lotus automobile and parachuted for a soft landing to help the orange reach its destination, where it was squeezed then poured into a glass. Components included a toy Slinky, photographs, a parachute and floating balls. The team began working on the machine in October and spent about 3000 hours completing it. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers placed second and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering placed third. The winning team will advance to the national competition, which will take place March 31 at 10:30 a.m at Purdue. The competition pays homage to the late cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who specialized in drawing whimsical machines with complex mechanisms to perform simple tasks.
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