For the 4th year in a row, professional domino artist Alex Huang organized a chain reaction event in his local community, and this year’s event was the most challenging undertaking yet: the Guinness World Record for Longest Rube Goldberg machine. This year’s team featured 6 of the best chain reaction artists from the United States and Canada, including Alex Berlaga (berlagawesome), Chase Blanchette (TheRGMGuy01), Lyle Broughton (jackofallspades98), Evan Voeltner (E VoltageRGMs), Joel Yantha (TheInvention11), and team leader Alex Huang (Flash Domino). From August 2nd-10th, the Reactica team was hard at work at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA, spending their days building a >500-step chain reaction in an effort to break the existing record of 412 steps, currently held by Latvian company Scandiweb.

During the week of building, each of the 6 builders was tasked with filling two 3” x 8” tables (48 square feet per builder in total!) with his own chain reaction. In order to beat the world record, builders also had to construct at least 70 “steps” in their section, or an average of 12 steps per day. A “step” in a Rube Goldberg machine is best defined as a distinct transfer of energy from one object to another. By the end of the week, when all 12 tables were finished, the machine had over 500 steps -  well over the target of 420!

On August 10th, the big day, the team performed a live demonstration of the record-breaking machine to an audience of hundreds. As often happens, this complex machine did not work all the way through during the live demo, but the team was able to run 141 tests in total, over the course of two days. In fact, full tests began the day before the live demo, which was actually Take 32! Unfortunately, none of these 141 tests ran all the way through, but the longest test reached the 10th table (out of 12), which, even with the fail, still contained over 412 steps working continuously. 

Unfortunately, , Guinness’ rules require that the machine accomplish a “simple task” for the record attempt to count. The Reactica team still plans to submit their evidence and footage to Guinness, even though it’s very possible it will not be accepted as new Guinness World Record. Regardless, Alex and his team are still happy with the outcome, saying “even if Guinness doesn’t accept our submission, it doesn’t make an event like this any less worthy of it. We battled incredible odds and time constraints and still finished a machine reliable enough to consistently make it more than halfway through. I’m very proud of the team to say we made it that far.” 

The H5 Domino Community was a proud sponsor of this event, and we are thrilled to see the result of this massive chain reaction machine. Reactica has grown and improved significantly over the past few years, and we can’t wait to see what the team takes on next summer!