An elaborate egg-cracking Rube Goldberg machine


The Egg Scan system is a Rube Goldberg machine for cracking and scanning an egg.

The system is kicked off with an exhalation of alcohol-laced breath (whiskey was used) which trips a threshold set on an gas sensor. This then starts a small fan which propels a small sail-car down a ramp. The car hits various levers and reels to drop a metal bracket onto an egg, cracking it through an aperture onto a flatbed scanner below. A subsequent delayed motion swings a counterweighted lever arm to click the button of a wireless mouse, which initiates a scan of the broken egg.


Breathalyzer sensorA small fan-propelled sail carAn egg in position beneath a metal leverAn egg cracked onto a flatbed scanner

Egg Scans

A scanned cracked eggAnother scanned cracked eggAnd another scanned cracked eggOne more scanned cracked egg



  • Alcohol gas sensor (effectively a breathalyzer)
  • Microcontroller
  • Custom software
  • Electric fan
  • Various interstitial mechanisms
  • Wireless mouse
  • Flatbed Scanner
  • Laptop

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