We love Rube Goldberg machines, and have posted about these short films from Japan’s NHK educational TV show, Pitagora Suitchi (ピタゴラスイッチ, PythagoraSwitch) before, so it’s no surprise that this video collection (updated link) of their Pitagora devices had the kids completely thrilled and mesmerized.
The kinetic chain reactions were designed by a team from Keio University’s Masahiko Sato Laboratory. Here’s another:
There are a lot of smart tricks in this one, too:
NHK is notorious for removing its content from YouTube so watch them online while you can. More about the program from Wikipedia:
During the beginning and ending of each episode, and between each corner (segment), there are Pythagorean Devices (ピタゴラ装置, Pitagora Sōchi). “Pythagorean device” is the equivalent Japanese colloquialism for the American “Rube Goldberg machine” and British “Heath Robinson” contraption. The main focus of the program is a puppet show, but the subject is mainly advanced by small corners. World phenomena, principles, characteristics, and the like are introduced in an entertaining way. At the end of each segment, the show’s title is sung as a kind of punchline.
Related great fun: Joseph Herscher’s The Page Turner.