The Experiment: A Working, Digital Rube Goldberg Machine in HTML5

With their endless series of implausible chain reactions, Rube Goldberg devices are fascinating not because they look crazy, but because they’re almost always crazy enough to work. Now Honda’s bringing that crazy fun to anyone with a mouse thanks to “The Experiment,” a digital chain reaction playhouse without any of the messy clean up.

The site has six pre-made challenges which ask the users to set off a specific reaction — such as cooking eggs, launching fireworks or shooting a bow and arrow at a target. Users are given a start point, and end point and a series of Internet windows which need to be placed in the correct order. Once all the windows are in the right order, the browsers come to life, setting up and interacting with each other as if they objects existed in real life. Fireworks explode in a shower of separate windows, cogs roll down ramps and hit buttons and arrows fly across several screens.

The Experiment is a blast to play and a great showcase of the power of HTML5. Honda created the website to highlight the ingenuity and creativity that went into its new Civic. Some of the windows include Honda products (such as a Honda-made power generator that powers one of the reactions). Outside of the first splash page, however, most Honda branding is thankfully absent, letting the site speak for itself.

The site’s tag line — “If we never venture into the unknown, how do we get anywhere new? Experiment.” — is taken to heart. After users are done playing with the pre-made levels, they can then create their own chain reactions to save, share and challenge their friends.

Come up with your craziest contraptions and let us know what you think of The Experiment in the comments below.

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