Ex-NASA Engineer Builds The Perfect Rock-Skipping Robot

August 3, 2018


This is a video of ex-NASA engineer and inventor Mark Rober using the engineering design process to build and adjust a robot (arguably not actually a robot) that can skip the perfect rock (and clay disk). I wonder if it's as good at skipping rocks as I was at skipping school, LOL. I have a lot of regret. Basically, the key to the best skip are as follows:

1) Rock angle of 20 degrees

2) Rock PATH angle of 20 degrees
3) Spin the rock as much as possible
4) Choose a rock that is flat on the bottom and as heavy as possible for you to still get to your max arm speed.

Admittedly, I've been doing it wrong. I thought you wanted to throw almost parallel to the water (a lot of times I even wade into the water above my knees), but you actually want to throw the rock down at the water at around 20-degrees. That was news to me. Everything else I already knew because I'm semi-pro. With this information I might finally be able to go pro-pro. "You just threw a rock backwards and broke a window." Nobody saw that. "I did." Remember how Piggy dies in Lord Of The Flies? "I didn't see anything." *places hand on your head like it's a throne's armrest* I didn't think you did. Now dive in there and go get me all my best rocks back.

Keep going for the video.

  • adsffda

    they don't come out of the tubes? :(

  • The_Wretched

    Typical engineer - look, we're using dissolving rocks. Um, yeah, but turbidity is worse for the lake than a minute displacement from a fired clay object.

  • Jenness

    This would be a great end of summer project for the kiddo. We love skipping rocks - but I've never got over 6 :(

  • Meh

    How is that a robot?

  • The_Wretched

    It does something better than you, over and over and doesn't need a bed nor food. That's a robot.

  • TheQiwiMan

    This guy seems like he'd be the ultimate Uncle for any kid.

    Or me. I want him to be my uncle too.

  • GeneralDisorder

    I believe this guy is related somehow to the Backdoor Scientist. So... that's a net negative of being related to Mark Rober.

  • TheQiwiMan


  • Bling Nye

    That's cool. Ain't worth 10:33 of my time, but definitely worth a solid 0:35 of skipping around in it.

  • Beard


blog comments powered by Disqus
Previous Post
Next Post