Catching a monster can be hard work, but one 7-year-old is showing us just how many components it takes to create a machine to trap one.
If you're wondering, it takes dominoes, a mini bowling pin, a marker cap, a marble, plastic tubing, a canned good, and much more.
This monster catcher falls into the category known as a "Rube Goldberg machine", which its inventor Audri Clemons describes is "a machine that creates a chain reaction -- a really complicated one -- to do a simple task." Although, it can be argued that catching a nighttime bedroom invader is not a simple task.
As machine gets going after a domino is knocked down, its components and ingenuity become more complicated. For example, then the marble flips a switch that turns on a toaster that when done toasting pops up a cardboard paper towel tube that then furthers a complicated reaction of balls on top of a series of books and so on.
As fun as it is to explain, it's much better to watch. Check out Audri's creation:
Here's a pictorial sequence of how the machine works.
Audri doesn't set unrealistic expectations for the machine. He understands that such a complicated network does not always work on the first try, so he scientifically keeps track of successes and failures. As you can see, he hypothesizes that he will have many failures with few, but worth it, successes.
In case you were wondering who Rube Goldberg is, he was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor and author who died in 1970. He was famously known for his "inventions", which were drawings for complex contraptions used to do simple things such as pulling cotton out of a medicine bottle.
What's the ultimate lesson of this experiment? In the words of Audri: "If you don't succeed, try, try again."