Joseph's Machines: From novel to silly, his inventions are labor of love

BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- Joseph Herscher has made a name for himself on social media by making intricate machines that turn simple tasks into elaborate projects, and the inventor from Brooklyn's videos have racked up millions of views online.

He's originally from New Zealand and been in New York for a decade, and for the past six years -- right in his apartment -- the former software engineer has used YouTube to make a career out of his childhood hobby.

"I made the first machine since I was 5 years old," he said. "The first one was 'the candy machine' for storing my candy."

He's made about 30 machines, which each took about three months to build. His objects are household items, because after all, he lives above a 99-cents store.

"Often, I do the 99-cent store walk of shame," he said. "I walk to every 99-cent store along Knickerbocker (Avenue), of which there are eight."

His work got him on Sesame Street and into the New York Times, but for him, it's more than just fun.

"It's often missing in education," he said. "Everything is about tests and meeting standards and goals. And we don't often give kids a chance to just play with something and learn through that play."

His most recent machine, the cake server, which brings him desert, has 100 million Facebook views.

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