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    Wacky Automation Devices

    Monthly project competitions, chances to earn prizes, you decide project themes, your ideas, your projects, turn ideas into projects.

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    3 First Place Winners Earn a Shopping Cart of $100 for any element14 site!




    The Electronics & Design Contest You Voted for: Wacky Automation Devices


    Your Monthly Theme: Wacky Automation Device (aka Rube Goldberg Machine)

    This month's theme is Wacky Automation Devices and comes from dougw. The idea is to come up with an automation device similar to a Rube Goldberg machine. A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex contraption in which a series of devices perform simple tasks and are linked together to produce a domino effect whereby activation of one device triggers the next device in the sequence.  The inventor was a famous an American cartoonist.


    You've probably witnessed the influence of Rube Goldberg in cartoons, movies or TV shows you've watched.  Depictions of overly engineered contraptions leading to intense chain reactions resulting in simple results can be seen in movies such as the Goonies, Beauty and the Beast, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, and Ernest Goes to Jail.


    Rube Goldberg, born on the 4th of July in 1883, certainly had the whole right brain / left thing working for him. Not only was he a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist known for his wacky cartoons but he also received an engineering degree from Berkley. He has the distinction of being the only person listed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as an adjective and its been estimated that he did 50,000 cartoons over the course of his lifetime.


    His legacy lives on, not only through TV and movies, but through Rube Goldberg Inc, a not for profit 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting STEM & STEAM education for students of all ages.  The engineering fraternity at Purdue University has hosted a National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest every year since 1987 . In 2009, the same chapter established a similar contest at Berkeley University, where Goldberg got his degree.


    Your Project, Your Ideas!



    About Project14

    Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.


    What are Monthly Themes?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) a new theme will be posted on Project14.
    • Submit your ideas (proposals) for your projects to get feedback from the rest of the community.
    • Submit a project entry in the Theme space once you start working on it.


    What are Monthly Theme Polls?

    • Every month (around the 14th of each month) there is a project theme poll.
    • Vote on which project competition you want to see for the following upcoming theme.
      • The themes voted on during the previous poll decided the upcoming theme.
      • If you submit an idea for a theme that is not used then it can still be used in a future poll.
    • Themes comments and ideas from the comments section of the project theme poll.

    Step 1: Log in or register on element14, it's easy and free.

    Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.

    Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month.  You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.


    Be sure to include video proof of your project!


    Visit: Wacky Automation Devices


    Submit an Entry Form Here:


    Submit Project


    You have until November 14th, 12:00 AM CDT to submit your completed project!


    A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!



    How You Win:



    Come Up With a Clever Name:
    Stick to the Theme:
    • A clever name can make your project memorable.
    • The right name can distinguish your project from others and help create buzz around your project.
    • This project is your baby! Part of the fun of bringing something new into the world is coming up with a name.
    • If you have an idea for a project that doesn't fit the current theme then submit your idea in the comments section of the monthly poll.
    Be Original:
    Submit Video Proof:
    • Providing the steps you took to complete your project (text, video, or images) and providing video proof should be sufficient in most cases.
    • If your project introduces something new or something that is not commercially available or affordable then that counts!
    • If it doesn't work that's fine, this program is more about the journey than the end product.
    • A short video is all that is required but you can shoot as much video as you like.
    • You are encouraged to be creative and have as much fun as possible!


    Three First Place Winners Earn a Shopping Cart of $100 (from element14 sites)!


    Your Project Examples:


    Monthly Theme: DIY Test Equipment

    The Drinkmotizer - a Raspberry Pi Drink Mixing Robot






    Project Example:  The Breakfast Machine
    World's Largest Rube Goldberg Machine



    Discuss Your Ideas In the Comments Below!


    You have until November 14th, 12:00 AM CDT to submit your completed project!