The Kid Should See This

The Harlem Globetrotters’ Rube Goldberg Trick Shot Machine

This basketball, simple machine, and mechanism-filled Rube Goldberg Machine is powered by the work of students from Georgia Tech’s colleges of Industrial Design and Music, and some signature Globetrotters magic courtesy of ‘Buckets’ Blakes. The Trick Shot Machine, also scored by the Tech students, is a promo project for the legendary Harlem Globetrotters, filmed before their Atlanta, Georgia games on March 3 and 10, 2018. Some details on their teamwork and failures from

The trick shot machine had 12 complications: Intro and Conveyor Belt, Dribbling Machine, Ball Kick, Passing Machine and Drum Descender, The Wave, Mannequin Pass, Ball Spinner, Hamster Wheel, Face Ramp, Rotating Baskets, Levitation Machine, Catapult. In total, the project took 12 weeks to complete. The completion is what made this project more challenging than most, Hsu said.

“We got to see the iteration, the trial and error. The Hamster Wheel, I don’t know how many iterations we went through to get the bucket to work and the wheel to not spin out of control. Maybe a dozen? It was nice to see something go beyond the first prototype,” Dr. [Tim] Hsu said.

“We do a lot of failing at Tech, and it makes learning somewhat more like the real world. There are hard deadlines, things you’ve got to do within a certain amount of time, you’ve got to cooperate with other people, and if some people don’t do their parts then other people fall short,” he said.

“This project was giant, with lots of moving pieces. When some people had minor failures, those created ripple effects and hurt other people in different groups. We had to quickly learn that it wasn’t just about us doing our part. It was about us doing our part and fixing the failures of other people because we were all working on the same project.”

Read more about the team’s challenging 12-week project at

Next, watch more Harlem Globetrotters: Most basketball three-pointers in one minute and STOMP makes basketball music with the Globetrotters.

via BoingBoing.

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