It's being called the world's largest Rube Goldberg machine, and it's not hard to see why. The crazy apparatus, created by Purdue University's Society of Professional Engineers, takes 300 steps to do something kids can do in seconds using only two hands.
The machine blows up a balloon--and then pops it, according to a statement released by the university. Along the way, it accomplishes tasks ranging from peeling an apple and juicing an orange to making a burger, changing a light bulb, loading a CD, and sharpening a pencil.
"We did some bold things with this machine that have never even been attempted that probably startled judges, competitors and spectators," team president Zach Umperovitch said in the statement. "But we were hungry, and we were going to go large or stay home."
Click here to see the machine in action.
Rube Goldberg machines are named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist who became famous for his whimsical drawings of contraptions that use ridiculously complex actions to perform simple tasks. The contest in which the Purdue machine won top honors has been hosted by the university's engineering fraternity Theta Tau for the past 25 years.