Man invents Fridge with built-in beer catapult – 20′ range

It never ends. 

From the “this-will-be-the-next-top-item-on-Digg-dept”, comes a beer-tossing fridge, with a range of 20′.  The video of this thing is here.

One more reason we need to give Americans something more constructive to do, like go out and be a Volunteer Minister on the weekends, etc. 

An engineering graduate has built a contraption to help remind him
of campus life: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch
with the click of a remote control.

When John Cornwell graduated
from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in
Atlanta, Georgia, but soon found himself longing for his college
lifestyle. “I conceived it right after I got out,” said Cornwell, who
graduated from Duke University in May 2006. “I missed the college
scene. It embodies the college spirit that I didn’t want to let go of.”

It
took the 22-year-old Cornwell about 150 hours and $400 in parts to
modify a minifridge common to many college dorm rooms into the
beer-tossing machine, which can launch 10 cans of beer from its
magazine before needing a reload.

With a click of the remote,
fashioned from a car’s keyless entry device, a small elevator inside
the refrigerator lifts a beer can through a hole and loads it into the
fridge’s catapult arm. A second click fires the device, tossing the
beer up to 20 feet (6 meters) — “far enough to get to the couch,” he
said.

Is there a foam explosion when the can is opened? Not if
the recipient uses “soft hands” to cradle the can when caught, Cornwell
said.

In developing his beer catapult, Cornwell said he dented a
few walls and came close to accidentally throwing a can through his
television. He has since fine-tuned the machine to land a beer where he
usually sits at home, on what he called “a right-angle couch system.”

For
now, the machine throws only cans, although Cornwell has thought about
making a version that can throw a bottle. The most beer he has run
through the machine was at a party, when he launched a couple of 24-can
cases.

“I did launch a lot watching the Super Bowl,” he said. “My
friends are the reason I built it. I told them about the idea and hyped
it so much and I had to go through with it.”

A video featuring
the device is a hit on the Internet, where more than 600,000 people
have watched it at metacafe.com, earning Cornwell more than $3,000 from
the Web site.

Cornwell said he has talked to a brewing company
about the machine, but right now only one exists. Asked if he might
start building some for sale, he said: “I’m keeping that option open,
depending on interest.”

When Cornwell was a student at Duke he
participated in the engineering school’s robotic basketball contests,
said mechanical engineering Professor Bob Kielb. He said students tried
to build a robot that could retrieve a ping-pong ball and toss it into
a small hoop.

“He always did well in it,” Kielb said. “He came up with completely unique ideas.”

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