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Melvin is a smartphone equipped, travelling Rube Goldberg machine

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Melvin the Mini Machine is a portable Rube Goldberg machine with a twist, thanks to an HTC Desire that takes photos and uploads info on the machine's travels.

Melvin the Mini Machine
Melvin the Mini Machine

All Rube Goldberg machines take a simple task and make it unnecessarily complex, but Melvin the Mini Machine takes things a step further by not only being portable, but also rather social. Melvin's goal is simple: to get a postcard ready to mail by writing a friendly message with a rubber stamp and sticking on a postage stamp. But the 38 step process — which involves an alarm clock, a pipe, and a whole lot of rolling balls — is anything but. And not only is the whole thing impressively complex, it's also very portable, as the creators have managed to squeeze everything into two suitcases. To go along with this portability, Melvin has also been outfitted with an HTC Desire with a custom-built app that takes photos of the machine's travels and then uploads them (along with GPS data) to both Facebook and Twitter. You can even check out a map with all of Melvin's travels, though as of now he's only made a few stops in Europe.