A “Rube Goldberg” is named for the cartoonist who draws impossibly complicated machines. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it thus: “accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply”.

That’s what Joseph Herscher, who’s from New Zealand, has set out to do, building a series of increasingly complicated machines – called Joseph’s Machines – to perform the most simple tasks. And to prove that eating a piece of cake is, well, no piece of cake, he built his most complicated machine ever to do just that – eat cake (video above).

Herscher’s motto, as he explained to the The New York Times: “Who says machines must be useful?” The almost impossible contraptions he builds are eloquent testimony to just that.