Empowering Student Innovation for a Clean Energy Future

Neil’s Anti-Procrastinator-Inator

Division: M (6-8)
School: Orlando Science Schools Team Size: 1

Neil’s Anti-Procrastinator-Inator

It all started last year when I made an energy transfer machine to play with me because I was bored since I was doing online school and everyone was in quarantine, but this year IT’S THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE I’m going to school in person, not having enough time to time to play, or watch, and on top of that I’m a huge procrastinator. So, I made a machine that would force me to do my work by taking my tablet away from me so I can do on my homework. My machine solves a problem that I face on a daily basis. One of the best parts of my machine is that I didn’t buy anything for the machine. The whole machine is 99% made from old materials I had lying around in my house such as, cardboard, “hot wheels” tracks, old lampshade, boxes, marbles, cups and Legos etc. (except for the slingshot that I designed and 3D printed).

The Full Story

My problem was that I had to get my work done on time because I’m terrible at being on time, so my machine makes me do my work. But it took a lot of effort to get to this point. First, I had to plan out what I would do then I built my machine, but I made a lot of steps that didn’t make the final cut, such as a scissor that would cut paper to trigger my slingshot. I also had to tweak the part where the marble exited the funnel and jumped onto the other track. At first the funnel was on the side of the track, but it took up too much space and was hard to control so I mounted it on top. Also, the part where the clay pot falls lifting the track so it can pour the marble onto the other track that triggers the bead chain was not originally planned, but I put it there because I had to use the blue tubs to mount the funnel, so I decided to save space by putting a step on the blue tub. The last step where the tablet falls was supposed to be different where a RC car would push the tablet off the table, but my car stopped working and it wouldn’t turn on, so I decided to use my train instead, but the train had less force so I used a weight that would be pushed off the table to complete the final step of pulling the tablet away. I also put some signs around my machine to provide a theme which is-that all you need is creativity to make anything, this is shown as anything in my machine is either cardboard or old and broken toys. I also put the signs for a bit of humor

(I don’t actually hate school). ;- )

Step By Step Explanation vibrates and descends down inclined plane

2. phone hits tube, rolls down track and hits a bar that makes it change trajectory and hit giant domino

4. giant domino falls and pulls out stopper via a string

5. removed stopper allows marble to roll down track into a funnel (a broken lampshade),

6. marble goes through funnel and comes onto a track,

7. marble falls of track landing onto the track the tube used,

8. marble rolls on track and hits lever

9. lever hits mini shot glass off of a stand,

10. shot glass1 rolls and hits shot glass2 off of a stand,

11. shot glass2 rolls and hits shot glass3 off of a stand

12. shot glass3 hits a weight off of a table that pulls a pulley via a string,

13. pulley pulls up and elevates track with a marble on it

14. marbles rolls off of track and lands on another track and then makes a turn while rolling on the table,

15. marble hits domino, domino falls of table and starts pulling out bead chain,

16. once bead chain is done falling a string at the end of the bead will pull out a stack of cups under a weight,

17. cups fall down letting the weight swing,

18. weight hits a big marble onto a track,

19. marble rolls and hits lock of table which pulls out stopper via a string,

20. removed stopper allows marble to roll down two levels of inclined planes with strategically placed stoppers,

21. marble rolls down the two levels and hits a lock which pulls out a stopper via a string,

22. removed stopper allows slingshot to shoot marble through tube,

23. marble goes through tube landing on a lever,

24. marble1 forces lever to move upwards on the other side letting marble2 which is underneath the other side roll down an inclined plane-while simultaneously falling onto an inclined plane which leads to a track with a weight on it the marble hits the weight which pulls out a blocker from in front of marble2,

25. marble 2 hits weight,

26. weight pulls out piece from underneath a toy train allowing it to move,

27. train pushes weight off the table that pulls tablet off the table along with it via a string


NOTE: It took me over 50 runs and 3+ hours to get to this run 😉


an upper view of my funnel and various other steps
A close up of my slingshot P.S-this is my favorite part of the machine
The back of my machine where the bead chain triggers the rest of the machine
an upward side view of the steps after the slingshot


  • my mom-helped me record my intro and my machine
  • my dad-encouraged me to participate
  • my little sister-moral support
  • Joseph Hercher-inspired me to start making energy transfer machines – (Joseph Hercher is a youtuber who makes amazing Rube Goldberg machines)

Thank You!

10 thoughts on “Neil’s Anti-Procrastinator-Inator

  • Congratulations on your entry for EnergyWhiz 2022. You give a very good step by step description of the movement in your energy transfer system. I also like that you give credit to others for helping.

  • Rube Goldberg machines are my favorite!! You did an amazing job and you are an inspiration.

  • I know that a lot of work has gone in to this machine. Your hard work is evident because when you set this up, you know exactly where to place all the items so they work just right. I especially like that you 3D printed items as well. How do you think your experience with the Energy Transfer Machines over the past two years has helped you in your studies now or your future studies?

  • Wow!
    Nice job a lot of work and planning went into this! Good luck at the competition!
    I will show this to Quinn, he will love it!

  • I love that this is so well thought out! It is amazing that you found such a creative solution to a problem you faced! Excellent work!

  • Great work Neil! You found a problem and solved it! Thinking like a true engineer! I love the step by step explanation it really helps break down the whole process.

  • Great work, Neil! There are a lot of interesting components to your machine and your design is innovative.

  • Wow, very detailed and creative. Good job sequencing the explanation!

  • Nice work! Our favorite part was the green and silver chain.

  • Excellent work, Neil! Your ETM is an inspiration to other builders. So many complex steps and variety make it fun to watch. Also, great camera work by Mom recording the machine run.


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