By now, you've probably seen the TV beer commercial showing a young man serving beer to friends by bouncing cans off the new rubber floor in his apartment.
That's show biz. John Cornwell's robotic beer-launching fridge is real life.
Cornwell, 22, an engineering graduate of Duke University, has created a device that can catapault a cold one to you from across the room. A video and a series of photos on his Web site show the device in operation as well as its inner workings.
How did this all come about? Says Cornwell: "Have you ever gotten up off the couch to get a beer for the umpteenth time and thought, What if instead of ME going to get the BEER, the BEER came to ME?' Well, that was how I first conceived of the beer launching fridge.
"About three months and several hundred dollars later I have a fully automated, remote controlled, catapulting, man-pit approved, beer launching mini-fridge. It holds 10 beers in its magazine with 14 more in reserve to store a full case. It is controlled by a keyless entry system. Pressing unlock will start the catapult rotating and when it is aiming at your target, pressing unlock again will stop it. Then the lock button can be pressed to launch a beer in the selected direction."
Intrigued? Cornwell said this week, "I have decided that there might be a large enough interest to produce a limited number of beer-launching fridges. If I was to manufacture them I would have all of the parts professionally machined for a much cleaner look (although it would still have exposed motors, gears, etc). The price would be around $1,500, although the launcher would have a few improvements.
"The new launcher would use something similar to a miniature TV remote. It would have buttons to rotate it left, right, fire, and also have 0-9 be programmable angles. I would use a slightly larger mini-fridge so that the magazine would be closer to 20 beers. The distance will be adjustable manually to get the right couch distance, but will not be adjustable with the remote. Please e-mail me if you would be interested in purchasing one at that price."
There you go, John. No charge for the plug.
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