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Mark Rober

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Mark Rober
Mark Rober 2020.jpg
Rober in 2019
Born1980 or 1981 (age 41–42)[1]
Alma materBrigham Young University (BS)
University of Southern California (MS)
OccupationEngineer, inventor, YouTube personality
Known forSocial media videos
Digital dudz
Mars Rover
Spouse(s)Lisa Rober
YouTube information
Years active2011–present
GenreScience & Technology
Subscribers22.3 million[2][3]
Total views2.9 billion[4][3]
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2014
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2016
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2019

Last updated: August 3, 2022

Mark B. Rober is an American YouTuber, engineer, and inventor. He is known for his YouTube videos on popular science and do-it-yourself gadgets. Before YouTube, Rober was an engineer with NASA for nine years, where he spent seven years working on the Curiosity rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He later worked for four years at Apple Inc. as a product designer in their Special Projects Group, where he authored patents involving virtual reality in self-driving cars.

Early life

Rober was raised in Orange County, California. He became interested in engineering at a young age, making a pair of goggles that helped avoid tears while cutting onions.[1] Rober earned a mechanical engineering degree from Brigham Young University as well as a master's degree from the University of Southern California.[5]


Early career (NASA)

Rober joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2004.[6] He worked there for nine years, seven of which were spent working on the Curiosity rover, which is now on Mars.[5] He designed and delivered hardware on several JPL missions, including AMT, GRAIL, SMAP, and Mars Science Laboratory.[7] While at NASA, Rober was one of the primary architects for "JPL Wired", which was a comprehensive knowledge capture wiki.[7] He published a case study about applying wiki technology in a high-tech organization to develop an "Intrapedia" for the capture of corporate knowledge.[8]

YouTube channel, science communication

During his time at NASA, Rober began making viral videos.[1] His videos cover a wide variety of topics, sparking ideas for April Fools' Day pranks[9][10] and teaching about tricks like beating an escape room and filming primates in zoos non-invasively.[1] He advocates for science, making videos testing the ability for sharks to smell blood in water,[11] fluidized sand[12] and water purification.[13]

In October 2011, Rober recorded his first YouTube video. It shows a Halloween costume that used two iPads to create the illusion of seeing through his body.[14] His video of the "gaping hole in torso" costume went viral, receiving 1.5 million views in just one day.[15][16] The following year, Rober launched Digital Dudz, an online Halloween costume company that specializes in Halloween costumes based on the same concept as the video (to which Rober holds the patent). The company took in $250,000 in revenue in its first three weeks of operations, and by 2013 his app-integrated costumes were sold in retail stores such as Party City.[14][17][18] The costumes were widely featured on news channels such as CBS News, CNN, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Fox, Yahoo! News, Discovery Channel, The Today Show and GMA.[19] He sold the company to UK-based costume company Morphsuits in 2013.[17]

In December 2018, Rober posted a video showing how he tricked parcel thieves with an engineered contraption that sprayed glitter on the thieves, emitted a foul odor, and captured video of the thieves.[20][21] The video went viral, receiving 25 million views in one day. Rober later removed two of the five incidents caught on tape after discovering that two of the thieves were actually friends of a person he hired to help catch the package thieves.[21][22] Rober posted a follow-up in December 2019, teaming up with Macaulay Culkin and featuring an improved design.[23] Rober would post another follow up a year later, featuring a third edition of the bomb.[24] During the process of building the third bomb, Rober collaborated with Jim Browning, ScammerPayback, and various state and federal authorities to use the glitter bomb bait package as a tactic to track and arrest money mules and their supervisors, who were working with scamming call centers in India to rob elderly people of thousands of dollars. Some of the investigations are still ongoing. This was in conjunction with a multi-Youtuber movement to get back at and shut down scam callers, while raising awareness to prevent other people from being scammed in the future.[25][26][27]

Rober has contributed articles to Men's Health,[28] and gave a TEDx presentation in 2015 How to Come Up with Good Ideas[5] and another one entitled The Super Mario Effect – Tricking Your Brain into Learning More.[29] He has also made numerous appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[9] In 2018, it was reported that Rober had been secretly working on virtual reality projects for Apple Inc.,[30] including the company's on-board entertainment for self-driving cars, for which Rober wrote two virtual reality-related patents.[31] Rober worked as a product designer in Apple's Special Projects Group from 2015 to early 2020.[32] In 2020, Rober will star in a Discovery Channel hidden-camera show alongside Jimmy Kimmel.[33][needs update]

In October 2019, the YouTube community released a project labeled #TeamTrees, organized by MrBeast and Rober following a tweet that suggested that MrBeast should plant 20 million trees. MrBeast and Rober worked with YouTubers across the globe in an effort to make this come true. The goal of this project was to raise $20,000,000 for the Arbor Day Foundation by 2020, and in exchange, the Arbor Day Foundation would plant one tree for each dollar raised. Notable YouTubers who took part in the project were iJustine, the Slow Mo Guys, Marques Brownlee, Hannah Stocking, PewDiePie, The Try Guys, AsapScience, Smarter Every Day, How Ridiculous, Half as Interesting, Life Noggin, minutephysics/minuteearth, It's Okay to be Smart, and HowToBasic.[34] Then, in 2021, he founded #TeamSeas along with MrBeast, which aims to raise $30,000,000 for cleaning up beaches and seas, along with removing 1 pound for each dollar donated, using help from The Ocean Cleanup.[35][36][37]

In 2020, Rober launched a 30-day Creative Engineering class on the online-class platform Monthly.[38]

In August 2020, during a video filming sharks in the Bahamas, Rober revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19, delaying the production of his video.[39]

On July 14, 2022, Rober took over for Jimmy Kimmel as host of the Emmy-nominated late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on the ABC television network.[40]


In 2021, as part of the Institution’s celebrations, Mark Rober was awarded a one-off prize as STEM Personality of the Year, following nominations from across the globe.[41] Later that year, Rober was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Institution of Engineering and Technology in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the engineering profession. This Honour was granted during the Institution’s 150th anniversary year.[42]

Personal life

Rober moved to Sunnyvale, California, in 2015, where he lives with his wife and son.[32] Rober is an advocate for autism awareness, as his son lives with it.[43] In April 2021, Mark Rober and Jimmy Kimmel announced they would be hosting a live stream in support of NEXT for AUTISM.[44] The event was met with criticism due to the organization's endorsement of Autism Speaks and applied behavior analysis.[45][46]


  1. ^ a b c d Hart, Hugh (February 16, 2012). "Dirt-Cheap iPhone Trick Captures Great Ape Close-Ups". Wired. Archived from the original on October 17, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020. "I don't really see myself as supercreative," said Rober, who's 31 now.
  2. ^ "About". YouTuber. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "About Mark Rober". YouTube.
  4. ^ "About". SocialBlade. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c TEDx Talks (July 2, 2015). "How To Come Up With Good Ideas – Mark Rober – TEDxYouth@ColumbiaSC". YouTube. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  6. ^ Diaz, Jesus (August 16, 2012). "Seven Years In the Life of One of the Engineers of the Mars Curiosity Rover". Gizmodo. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Verville, Jon; Jones, Patricia M.; Rober, Mark. "Why Wikis at NASA?". NASA. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Rober, Mark B.; Cooper, Lynne P. (2011). "Capturing Knowledge via an "Intrapedia": A Case Study" (PDF). Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. IEEE. pp. 1–10. ISSN 1530-1605. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Worland, Justin (March 31, 2016). "Let a NASA Nerd Show You Some Easy and Awesome April Fools' Pranks". Time. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  10. ^ Spence, Shay (September 3, 2015). "Skinning a Watermelon Is Your New Labor Day Party Trick". People. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  11. ^ Fink, Jenni (July 29, 2019). "Shark Week Fact Vs. Fiction: Former NASA Engineer Tests If Sharks Can Smell a Drop of Blood in Ocean". Newsweek. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Stewart, Jessica (December 4, 2017). "Ex-NASA Engineer Uses Science to Transform Hot Tub Full of Sand into "Liquid Soup"". My Modern Met. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Future of Philanthropy (March 12, 2019). "How Bill Gates ended up eating pizza rolls on YouTube". Fast Company. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Shubber, Kadhim (August 23, 2013). "Mark Rober left Nasa to make awesome wearable tech Halloween costumes". Wired UK. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  15. ^ Johnson, Charity (October 2, 2015). "Go Hi-Tech This Halloween With These DIY Costume Videos". Tech Times. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  16. ^ Kelly, Heather (October 18, 2013). "Smartphone wounds and other high-tech Halloween tricks". CNN. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Clark, Patrick (October 18, 2013). "A NASA Engineer Builds a Better Halloween Costume". Bloomberg News. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  18. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (December 12, 2014). "Digitally animated ugly Christmas sweaters bring the kitsch to a new level". Today. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  19. ^ Digital Dudz. "Select Digital Dudz Media Coverage 2013– Incld GMA, TODAY, Leno, Miley". YouTube. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  20. ^ Kleinman, Zoe (December 18, 2018). "Glitter bomb tricks parcel thieves". BBC News. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Shannon, Joel (January 23, 2019). "Viral glitter bomb video featured fake thieves, creator admits in apology". USA Today.
  22. ^ "A glitter bomb makes for sweet revenge on a package thief". Considerable. January 23, 2019.
  23. ^ Scribner, Herb (December 18, 2019). "BYU grad and former NASA engineer teams with Macaulay Culkin for new viral decoy porch prank". Deseret News. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Burton, Bonnie. "Ex-NASA engineer builds exploding glitter bomb to catch package thieves". CNET. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  25. ^ Rober, Mark. "Glitterbomb Trap Catches Phone Scammer (who gets arrested)". Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  26. ^ Browning, Jim. "Catching Money Mules featuring Mark Rober". Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  27. ^ ScammerPayback Channel. "Real Scammer Gets a Glitterbomb (Featuring Mark Rober)". Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  28. ^ "Author: Mark Rober". Men's Health. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  29. ^ TEDx Talks (May 31, 2018), The Super Mario Effect – Tricking Your Brain into Learning More | Mark Rober | TEDxPenn, retrieved October 29, 2018
  30. ^ Roettgers, Janko (June 26, 2018). "YouTuber Mark Rober Secretly Develops VR for Self-Driving Cars for Apple (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  31. ^ Aiello, Chloe (June 26, 2018). "A YouTube star with more than 3 million followers has reportedly been working at Apple in secret". CNBC. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  32. ^ a b Towne, Erika (February 5, 2020). "Sunnyvale Resident Glitter Bombs Package Thieves, Gets Discovery Channel Show". The Silicon Valley Voice. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  33. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 17, 2019). "Jimmy Kimmel Prank Series 'Revenge Of the Nerd' Starring YouTuber Mark Rober Ordered By Discovery". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  34. ^ "#teamtrees". Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  35. ^ Hale, James. "MrBeast And Mark Rober's #TeamSeas Is Raising $30 Million For Ocean Cleanup". Tubefilter. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  36. ^ Stanley, Grace. "#TeamSeas: YouTubers MrBeast and Mark Rober pledge to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the ocean". Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  37. ^ Spangler, Todd. "YouTubers MrBeast, Mark Rober Reteam for 'TeamSeas' Charity Fundraiser to Clean Up Trash From Marine Environments". Retrieved November 16, 2021.
  38. ^ "Mark Rober To Teach Creative Engineering Class Alongside Online Learning Startup 'Monthly'". Tubefilter. December 9, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  39. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Shark Attack Test- Human Blood vs. Fish Blood". YouTube.
  40. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel Live Schedule for the Week of 7/11/2022". July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  41. ^ "27 April 2021: IET crowns STEM Personalities of the Year - The IET". Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  42. ^ "IET launches Sustainable Community Competition". The Institute of Engineering and Technology. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  43. ^ Rober, Mark [@MarkRober] (April 2, 2018). "Happy Autism awareness day/month. The best part of my day is the 20-minute nighttime routine with my son and his stuffed animals. Repetition doesn't bother him (in fact he prefers it) so my same jokes totally kill every night" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Schneider, Michael (April 16, 2021). "Jimmy Kimmel and Mark Rober to Host YouTube Livestream Event for Autism Awareness". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  45. ^ "Boycott Color the Spectrum, Finance the Spectrum Instead". April 16, 2021. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
  46. ^ Crichton, Maddie (April 20, 2021). "Mark Rober Faces Backlash Over NEXT For Autism Fundraiser". Retrieved December 14, 2021.

External links