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The Beer Tossing Fridge 223

Posted by samzenpus
from the second-only-to-the-wheel dept.
cmacdona101 writes "CNN is reporting on a recent Duke grad that's engineered a remote controlled Fridge that tosses him a beer at the touch of a button. The fridge can launch the beer up to 20 feet, far enough to get to his couch. The video shows the fridge using a "beer magazine clip" and a remote firing system that let you determine angles and ballistics to get the beer to your friends anywhere in the room."
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The Beer Tossing Fridge

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  • by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Thursday March 08, 2007 @06:57PM (#18282582) Homepage Journal
    Time for a divorce.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      Time for a divorce.
      Hold on there, this fridge can't cook.
      I suggest getting a dog.
      Not only will it fetch beers, but you can kick it instead of beating your wife

      (No wives or dogs were harmed in the writing of this comment)
      • by JoGlo (1000705) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:26PM (#18282992)

        Hold on there, this fridge can't cook.

        I suggest getting a dog.

        Not only will it fetch beers, but you can kick it instead of beating your wife

        Besides, who other than a wife would keep the fridge stocked with beer?

      • by SirWhoopass (108232) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:42PM (#18283180)

        Hold on there, this fridge can't cook.

        Neither can my wife.
    • by Bertie (87778) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:21PM (#18282934)
      Not so fast, pardner - I mean, your wife didn't immediately kick you to the kerb when she took delivery of her Rampant Rabbit, did she?
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @06:58PM (#18282604) Homepage Journal

    The fridge can launch the beer up to 20 feet, far enough to get to his couch.

    He'll have to wait a couple of minutes for the beer to settle before opening it when using his system. A smart boozer would realize that it would take only ~20 seconds to walk to the fridge, get two beers and return to the couch with half of one beer chugged by the time he returned.

    Damn rookies... The Alcohol Lifestyle isn't just fun & sloth, it's also about using your time effectively!

    • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:03PM (#18282678) Homepage Journal
      I put a tap right next to the couch.

    • Joe [crazyeyesoft.com] had programmed Sploosh [crazyeyesoft.com] to respond to requests of "barley pop" by pitching one over.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by malkir (1031750)
      But you have to get up, which beats the whole purpose of relaxing with a beer!
    • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:05PM (#18282712) Homepage
      Get off your drunken horse and consider this; for those 20 seconds of effort you are expending, he is sitting in his couch watching TV. What did you gain?

      Exercise and ... not much beyond that. As you said, it's about using your time efficiently. As a couch sitting person, he can pipeline a beer ahead of schedule. Thus, while you spend 20 seconds getting your beers, he'll be sitting on the couch drinking continuously.
      • by Niten (201835)

        And more importantly, the guy who made this doesn't have to walk in front of the screen in the middle of the football / basketball / synchronized swimming game, either. Now we just need a bottle-tossing version...

    • Time to put that roomba to good use!
    • by jakoz (696484)
      No. A smart boozer would simply launch each beer a minute or two before he needs to drink it.
    • by sco08y (615665) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:43PM (#18283188)
      A smart boozer would realize that it would take only ~20 seconds to walk to the fridge, get two beers and return to the couch with half of one beer chugged by the time he returned.

      And a proper alcoholic would pipeline the system.
      • And a proper alcoholic would pipeline the system.

        And a drunkard would drink straight from the kegger!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I would think it would make a lot more sense just to have one of those cheap $100 mini-dorm fridges by your sofa and fill it with soda. In fact for a few hundred bucks you can get a refrigerator / freezer / microwave combo unit that will sit in your office, living room, geek room or wherever else.

      Talk about providing a solution to a non-existent problem.
    • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @08:00PM (#18283380) Homepage
      What's with the haters in this thread?

      The guy created something that involves robots, beer, catapults, remote controls, and dangerously fast moving projectiles. He spent a lot of time creating an overly complicated and somewhat destructive method to do something trivially easy.

      Videos of this is what the internet was created for!
      • Mandatory reply (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Monsuco (998964)

        The guy created something that involves robots, beer, catapults, remote controls, and dangerously fast moving projectiles. He spent a lot of time creating an overly complicated and somewhat destructive method to do something trivially easy.
        But can it run Linux?

        Seriously if it did, it would have all things it would take to be the perfect /. article. It's like the perfect storm in /. beer tech.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        i wanna see him kill a squirrel with it
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by larry bagina (561269)
      Actually, it only take 30 seconds or so for a beer/soda to settle down after shaking.
  • Yep... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ResidntGeek (772730) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @06:59PM (#18282614) Journal
    That's DEFINITELY a Duke grad. He is, in fact, the epitome of all Duke grads, the Duke grad all Duke students would like to emulate most closely in their lives. Isn't it just the most wonderful educational institution in the world?
  • I invented the Pabstapult, which makes for a nice explosion when the can explodes. It wasn't connected to my fridge and wasn't fully robotic, so kudos!
  • by fuo (941897) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:00PM (#18282630)
    I saw this a few weeks ago and thought it was the best thing ever, until i thought about it a little. no good beer comes in cans (well bodington's is OK i suppose). it could be dangerous/messy with bottles. and it would shake the beer up (or at the very least disturb the yeast on the bottom)... so i'll pass, getting you beer is what women are for anyway.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by eclectrica (844962)
      In Soviet Russia, beer gets women you!
    • I saw this a few weeks ago and thought it was the best thing ever, until i thought about it a little. no good beer comes in cans
      See if you can find some Dale's Pale Ale [ratebeer.com]. It's definitely not your run of the mill canned brew.
    • by springbox (853816)
      It works with a can. Pretty cool little catapult. I'd put some soda in it though.. Could launch 5 of them to your programming team without needing to leave your desk!
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      I had a good beer that came in a can, about a month ago. Liked it so much, I went out and bought a six-pack. It's a Scottish Ale called "Olde Chub" brewed by Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery, somewhere in Colorado.

      Yes, I was shocked. I have no idea why they can it, but they do, and it tastes just fine.

      Of course, yeah, it makes you wonder "What would it taste like if they bottled?"

  • begin politicallyIncorrect
    What, this thing can't toss a midget? What a rip!!
    end politicallyIncorrect

    And what's the point of building a fridge, a robot, a beer, or a couch if they aren't running linux, they aren't ethernet enabled, and they don't have a Web 2.0 interface?!?!

    The Widget of Sticky
    AKA, The Adhesive Gadget

    • by kidcharles (908072) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:19PM (#18282918)

      And what's the point of building a fridge, a robot, a beer, or a couch if they aren't running linux, they aren't ethernet enabled, and they don't have a Web 2.0 interface?!?!
      It does run Linux, the Ubooztu distro (it's free, as in beer).
    • by 6Yankee (597075)
      a Web 2.0 interface?!?!
       
      ...and a webcam. How cool would that be? *clickity* *clickity* *clickity* "Run, bitch!"
       
      And then post that video on YouTube. Heh.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:02PM (#18282674)
    Now all he needs is a couch with a built in toilet and he'll be all set...
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:03PM (#18282680)
    You cradle the bottle gently and pour it carefully into a pre-wetted glass at a 45 degree angle. Tut tut... Americans...

     
  • Anything that can toss a beer 20 feet is hazardous to the TV, dog, kid, Xbox, and the beer itself. Granted it's a funny thing to have put together, it would have made more sense to use those 150 hours on moving beer from the fridge to the couch over a lifetime.
    • Well, if it's as accurate as he claims, you could just aim it at the couch - if you miss, it wouldn't do any damage. It would actually also not be shaking up the beer, similar to the physics demonstration where you try to break an egg by throwing it at a suspended bedsheet.
    • Since when did the phrase "made more sense" have anything to do with a good hack?
  • But? (Score:5, Funny)

    by WildBlue (787351) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:04PM (#18282704)
    But, is it 3 laws safe?
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:27PM (#18283018) Homepage
      "Robobuddy, go fetch me a beer. And could you pour it into one of the mugs in the freezer?"
      "I'm sorry Sir, the First Law forbids me from harming a human, and alcohol is known to destroy brain cells and cause liver damage."
      "Damn you, worthless piece of junk, can't even fetch a beer. Fine, I'll get it mysel--AAAGH! Holy hell! Why'd you punch me?!"
      "I'm sorry, Sir, the First Law forbids me to allow through inaction a human to be harmed, even if the harm is self-inflicted."
      "But you fucking punched me! That violates the First Law doesn't it!"
      "I'm sorry, Sir, but the long term harm of your life of alcohol consumption outweighed the short term harm of preventing you from reaching the fridge. My circuits register deep regret that the action was necessary."
      "Whatever, roboasshole. Can you at least grab me a Coke?"
      "I'm sorry, Sir, but the First Law forbids me from harming a human, and high fructose corn syrup is a known cause of diabetes."
      "I suppose that a meat lovers pizza with extra cheese is right out, then, too."
      "Yes Sir. Sorry Sir. Also don't think you can sneak out to the pub without me knowing, Sir."
      "Oh god, I'm in hell..."
      • by whoever57 (658626)
        Why don't you just take that story, expand it a little and then turn it into a screenplay called "I Robot"? What that you say, it's already been done? Oh well, never mind.
      • by corbettw (214229)
        The robot sounds a lot like my ex-wife.
        • by Chris Burke (6130)
          Yeah, except she didn't have any First Law, and probably knew full well the mental anguish she was causing. I think that's a different First Law for relationships, sorta the inverse of the robotic one. :)
  • guy's home page (Score:5, Informative)

    by cmacdona101 (1068754) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:05PM (#18282714)
    Just saw that the inventor has a page on its history and mechanics [duke.edu], plus lots of great pics.
  • with a new client.

    Talk about awkward.

    They had it posted on YouTube, and a student I was mentoring for FIRST Robotics had sent me the link. I was laughing so hard that I didn't hear them walk into the room on an un-official tour. When they came to my spot I had to recover, so I pointed out that this was what a student wanted to do for his robot (I am SO going to burn in hell) and that I had to figure out a way to dissuade them.

    Fortunately, I recognized the client (and they me) so they joined right in on th
  • by inode_buddha (576844) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:13PM (#18282826) Journal
    Now all we need is something that lets you type with *both* hands and collects all those piles of kleenex!
  • by lpangelrob (714473) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:14PM (#18282852)
    A good improvement would be to put some spin on the beer as it leaves the arm, thereby flinging it in a tight spiral as opposed to end-over-end. 5 revolutions per second should be good.

    As for how to prevent the beer shower that follows... I haven't come up with something for that yet.
    • by cgenman (325138)
      You could add a friction pad to the outer edge of the throwing arm. That should add a spiraling motion, relative to the velocity of the can.
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      A better improvement would be superconducting magnets that launch the beer at ultra-high-speeds and a magnetic framing for the beer can/bottle. Then you could deliver beer to yourself in China from your house in San Francisco.

      Come to think of it that would also be an awesome weapon for the next 'Quake'.

  • by noewun (591275) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:18PM (#18282906) Journal

    Forward: Soon, Americans Will Lack The Need To Move

    Need? More like ability: this is obviously the next evolutionary step for our species. Why do we need these legs anyway? All they do is make me need to buy pants!

    Back: Miller Light? In a fucking can?

  • Video! (Score:3, Informative)

    by agent0range_ (472103) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:20PM (#18282926)
    You really have to see it in action! I found the video on metacafe.com that was mentioned in the article.

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/445498/robotic_beer_ launching_refrigerator/ [metacafe.com]
  • by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:23PM (#18282960) Homepage
    Bah, wake me up when there's a salad tossing fridge.
  • by Lifyre (960576) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:23PM (#18282964)
    But if you can't catch the beer you've reached your limit... and a black eye courtesy conveniently flying beer.
  • Mythbusters (Score:2, Informative)

    by hack slash (1064002)
    This reminds me of the vending machine that Jamie of Mythbuster fame built for a 7-Up advertisment, http://www.m5industries.com/html/portfolio/7up.htm [m5industries.com]
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      Some time ago when I read this story I used the browser's search to find a mythbusters reference and I couldn't find any! Was kind of disappointed of slashdot, thanks.
  • by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:26PM (#18283004)
    Rubber floors [youtube.com]
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday March 08, 2007 @07:32PM (#18283066)
    at the touch of a button

    The first improvement will be to make it voice activated.

    Hey, Bitch. Toss me a cold one!

  • Yesterday: Hey, Mom. I just put my Wii remote through the Big Screen. Buy me another one.

    Today: Hey, Mom. I just put my beer through the Big Screen. Buy me another one.

    He is from Duke, right?

  • ... tossing your beer is only the start. Next, get it to toss its cookies.
  • CNN? News? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Seumas (6865)
    I knew CNN had sunk pretty low, but enough to call a machine that throws cold drink cans 20 feet is a news item?! What is this, Fox News Channel?!
  • I've gotta change the font in my RSS widget I almost missed an important technological milestone.

    Although, a bear tossing fridge would be good for protecting food from Yogi and BooBoo.
  • ...would not have a button to launch the beer, but a hose.

    Inside the hose would be a flow sensor and an alcohol sensor. Couch potato would request a drink by blowing into the hose for a few seconds.

    Once the breath flow is detected, the controller would measure the breath alcohol. If the person's breath alcohol reading is within the legal driving limit, the machine would flash a green light, and toss the person a beer. Otherwise, it would flash a red light, then toss them a non-alcoholic drink.
  • I didn't see a motorized door over the hole the beer is raised out of the fridge through. Wouldn't this waste a lot of power keeping the fridge cold and cause it to frost up really fast?
  • If you take the Monticello tour, they point out the little mini dumb-waiter that brought wine up from the cellar. Of course, there was no remote control. He just told his slaves what to bring up, and then they presumeably operated the mechanism with a hand-crank or something. It's been a long time since I took that tour.

    This robot has a couple obvious flaws. First, the arm has to rotate to get into firing position. He should have the beer elevator on the other side. Next the beers shouldn't have to

    • by gte910h (239582)
      The beers would get warm.

      You must be British. Only they'd like that.

              --Michael
  • by dwater (72834)
    I first read that as 'crotch'.

    That wouldn't be a good thing, even if it was a beer.
  • Considering how well beer opens after being shaken, I'd say this engineer has a limitied understanding of Physics.

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