A Rube Goldberg Zipper-Zipping Machine

YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live
YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube / Jimmy Kimmel Live

Since the late 1980s, Purdue University has invited students to make Rube Goldberg machines accomplishing simple tasks in absurdly complex ways. Each machine has to occupy at least a 6-foot cube, perform at least 20 steps, and achieve a stupidly simple task. This year the winners made a charmingly goofy machine to zip a zipper. Here they are walking us through the process (the action starts around 3:05):

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And according to Wikipedia, here's the list of previous tasks set out for the Purdue contest:

2014 Zip a zipper 2013 Hammer a nail 2012 Inflate a balloon and pop it 2011 Water a Plant 2010 Dispense an Appropriate Amount of Hand Sanitizer into a Hand 2009 LittleBigPlanet Contraption Challenge 6 2009 Replace an Incandescent Light Bulb with a More Energy Efficient Light Emitting Design 2008 Assemble a Hamburger 2007 Squeeze the Juice from an Orange 2006 Shred 5 Sheets of Paper 2005 Change Batteries and Turn on a 2-battery Flashlight 2004 Select, Mark and Cast an Election Ballot 2003 Select, Crush and Recycle an Empty Soft Drink Can 2002 Select, Raise and Wave a U.S. Flag 2001 Select, Clean and Peel an Apple 2000 Fill and Seal a Time Capsule with 20th-century Inventions 1999 Set a Golf Tee and Tee Up a Golf Ball 1998 Shut Off An Alarm Clock 1997 Insert and Then Play a CD Disc 1996 Put Coins in a Bank 1995 Turn on a Radio 1994 Make Cup of Coffee 1993 Screw a Light Bulb into a Socket 1992 Unlock a Combination Padlock 1991 Toast a Slice of Bread 1990 Put the Lid on a Ball Jar 1989 Sharpen a Pencil 1988 Adhere a Stamp to a Letter 1987 Put Toothpaste on a Toothbrush

(Via Devour.)