Creating a 156 step mechanized process for assembling a hamburger enabled Purdue University students to win this year’s national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. (videos!) Unlike some engineering contests, the winning criteria for these challenges consist of how creative a team can be with combining inefficiency and complexity to complete what normally would be an everyday task. The challenge for this year’s competition was to assemble a hamburger made up of at least one precooked meat patty, two vegetables and two condiments between hamburger bun halves. To qualify, the machines needed to use a minimum of 20 steps, but the more steps used the better. The captain of the Purdue team, Drew Wischer claimed, "We put 4,000 to 5,000 man-hours into this machine since September, and all the hard work has been well worth it," Some other teams worth mentioning are Texas A&M University placing second; with the team from the University at Buffalo in New York coming in third.
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