Mark Rober

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Mark Rober
Mark Rober profile picture (cropped).png
Rober in 2015
Alma materBrigham Young University
University of Southern California
YouTube Personality
Known forSocial Media videos
Digital Dudz
Mars Rover

Mark Rober is an American YouTuber, engineer and inventor. He is known for his YouTube videos on popular science, do-it-yourself gadgets and creative ideas. Several of his videos have gone viral, including a digital Halloween costume[1] and a trap for package thieves that releases a fountain of ultra-fine glitter.[2] Prior to YouTube, Rober was an engineer with NASA where he spent seven years working on the Curiosity rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Early life

Rober grew up in Orange County, California. As a kid, he began tinkering with engineering, including making a pair of goggles that helped avoid tears while cutting onions.[3] He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Brigham Young University and a Master's degree from the University of Southern California.[4]


Early career (NASA)

Rober joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 2004.[5] He worked there for nine years, seven of which were spent working on the Curiosity rover, which is now on Mars.[4] He designed and delivered hardware on several JPL missions, including AMT, GRAIL, SMAP, and Mars Science Laboratory.[6] While at NASA, Rober was one of the primary architects for "JPL Wired", which was a comprehensive knowledge capture wiki.[6] He published a case study about applying wiki technology in a high-tech organization to develop an "Intrapedia" for the capture of corporate knowledge.[7]

YouTube, Digital Dudz, and the Science Channel

During his time at NASA, Rober began making viral videos.[3] His videos cover a wide variety of topics, sparking ideas for April Fools' Day pranks[8][9] and teaching about tricks like beating an escape room and filming primates in zoos non-invasively.[3] He advocates for science, making videos with egg drop competition ideas[10] and a scale model of the Solar System showing the distance of Planet Nine using a drone.[11]

Rober's first YouTube video was his iPad Halloween costume, which turned into a series of videos that attracted significant attention from the public and the media. On Halloween 2011, Rober placed one iPad on the front and one on his back, and created the illusion of seeing through his body by linking the two using the FaceTime video chatting app.[12] He posted the video of the "gaping hole in torso" costume on YouTube and it went viral, receiving 1.5 million views in just one day.[13][14]

The following year, Rober launched Digital Dudz, an online Halloween costume company that combined an app animation with a t-shirt design. It earned a quarter million dollars in its first three weeks of operations. By 2013, his costumes had pockets sewn into the insides to hold the phones and were being carried by specialty stores such as Party City. The app was also receiving a quarter million downloads. Rober holds a patent for the integration of apps with clothing and costumes.[12][15][16] The costumes were also featured on CBS News, CNN, The Jay Leno Show, Fox, Yahoo! News, Discovery Channel, The Today Show, GMA, and other media channels.[17] Rober sold Digital Dudz in 2013.[15]

In December 2018 Rober went viral with a video tricking parcel thieves with an engineered contraption that sprayed glitter on the thieves, receiving 25 million views in just one day.[18] The contraption engineered by Rober would explode glitter, emit a foul odor, and record the thieves during the process.[19] Rober later removed two of the five incidents caught on tape, unaware that two of the thieves were actually friends of a person he hired to help catch the package thieves.[19][20] His most popular video featured himself "skinning" a watermelon and has over 102 million views as of November 2019.[citation needed]

In addition to YouTube, Rober was the host of a popular science TV show on the Science Channel called The Quick And The Curious,[21][22] and he contributed articles to Men's Health.[23] He gave a TEDx speech entitled How To Come Up With Good Ideas[4] and another one entitled The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More.[24] He has also made numerous appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live![8]

On October 25, 2019 at 19:00 UTC, the YouTube community released a project labeled #TeamTrees. The project was organized by MrBeast and Rober following a tweet that suggested that MrBeast should plant 20 million trees. MrBeast and Rober partnered 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. 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, It's Okay To Be Smart, and HowToBasic.[25]

Personal life

Rober lives in the city of Sunnyvale, California, with his wife and son.[26] In order to raise awareness about autism, Rober tweeted out his support for those with autism, referencing his son who has the condition.[27] One hundred percent of his Teespring store sales goes to The Autism Society.

Rober is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[28]


  1. ^ Mark Rober (2011-10-29), iPad2 Halloween Costume- Gaping hole in torso, retrieved 2019-02-22
  2. ^ Mark Rober (2018-12-17), Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap, retrieved 2019-02-22
  3. ^ a b c Hart, Hugh (16 February 2012). "Dirt-Cheap iPhone Trick Captures Great Ape Close-Ups". Wired. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b c TEDx Talks (2 July 2015). "How To Come Up With Good Ideas - Mark Rober - TEDxYouth@ColumbiaSC". YouTube. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  5. ^ Diaz, Jesus (16 August 2012). "Seven Years In the Life of One of the Engineers of the Mars Curiosity Rover". Gizmodo. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  6. ^ a b Verville, Jon; Jones, Patricia M.; Rober, Mark. "Why Wikis at NASA?". NASA. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  7. ^ 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 18 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b Worland, Justin (31 March 2016). "Let a NASA Nerd Show You Some Easy and Awesome April Fools' Pranks". Time. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  9. ^ Spence, Shay (3 September 2015). "Skinning a Watermelon Is Your New Labor Day Party Trick". People. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  10. ^ Rose, Brent (27 May 2015). "How to Win Your Physics Class Egg Drop Competition". Gizmodo. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  11. ^ Chan, Casey (9 March 2016). "This Easy to Understand Scale Model of Our Solar System Shows How Far Planet Nine Is". Gizmodo. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  12. ^ a b Shubber, Kadhim (23 August 2013). "Mark Rober left Nasa to make awesome wearable tech Halloween costumes". Wired UK. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  13. ^ Johnson, Charity (2 October 2015). "Go Hi-Tech This Halloween With These DIY Costume Videos". Tech Times. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  14. ^ Kelly, Heather (18 October 2013). "Smartphone wounds and other high-tech Halloween tricks". CNN. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  15. ^ a b Clark, Patrick (18 October 2013). "A NASA Engineer Builds a Better Halloween Costume". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  16. ^ Pepitone, Julianne (12 December 2014). "Digitally animated ugly Christmas sweaters bring the kitsch to a new level". Today. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  17. ^ Digital Dudz. "Select Digital Dudz Media Coverage 2013- Incld GMA, TODAY, Leno, Miley". YouTube. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  18. ^ Kleinman, Zoe (2018-12-18). "Glitter bomb tricks parcel thieves". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  19. ^ a b Shannon, Joel (23 January 2019). "Viral glitter bomb video featured fake thieves, creator admits in apology". USA Today.
  20. ^ "A glitter bomb makes for sweet revenge on a package thief". Considerable. 23 January 2019.
  21. ^ "How Much Do Clouds Weigh?". The Quick and The Curious. Science Channel. Archived from the original on 11 May 2017.
  22. ^ Sims, Alexandra (3 February 2016). "The 'five second rule' is real, say NASA engineers". Independent. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Author: Mark Rober". Men's Health. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  24. ^ TEDx Talks (2018-05-31), The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More | Mark Rober | TEDxPenn, retrieved 2018-10-29
  25. ^ "#teamtrees". Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  26. ^ Mitchell, Sara (12 October 2012). "Local engineer creates new Halloween costume venture". SignalSCV. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  27. ^ Rober, Mark [@MarkRober] (2 Apr 2018). "Happy Autism awareness day/month. The best part of my day is the 20 minute night time 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.
  28. ^ LDS Living (5 July 2019), Latter-day Saint NASA Engineer Creates World's Largest Pool Full of Jell-O, retrieved 24 December 2019

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