This Catapult Fridge will ensure you'll never have to leave your couch again.

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After a hard day of embedded electronics tinkering, it can be pretty relaxing to flop down on the couch and crack open a nice cold beer soda. But once you've finished that beverage, you inevitably get the hankering for another and the fridge is oh-so-far away. What to do...what to do...?

Oh right - just build a Catapult Fridge and never leave the comfort of your couch again! Check out this project from SparkFun customer Ross Wehner. This project is controlled by an Arduino and uses a healthy-dose of cleverly designed mechanical enginering for the rest. The result is a project that resonates with the couch potato in each of us. An awesome - and definitely useful - project. Nice work, Ross!

Comments 31 comments

  • kanurys / about 12 years ago / 2

    What's wrong with beer? (I'm a brewer in Durango - word up CO) I can't wait for free day...

    • N.Poole / about 12 years ago / 1

      I'll tell you what's wrong, there's rarely enough of it.

  • rwehner / about 12 years ago / 2

    To answer a few of the questions:
    1) I later installed a trapdoor on the opening atop the fridge to keep the cold air inside. It's just not pictured in this video.
    2) Surprisingly the sodas aren't too shaken up by the wild ride to the sofa. Just to make sure, I opened one outside, but it was ready to enjoy!
    3) I have tried various types of cans and bottles. 3 sizes of cans and small 8 oz bottles all work with similar trajectories, but different speeds. 12 oz cans work best.
    4) The video that engadget posted last week with the iPhone controlled beer cannon is very cool as well! I especially like the ability to choose from multiple types of drinks!
    Thank you everyone for your feedback, and happy building!

  • Rabies / about 12 years ago / 2

    And I'm afraid to say that not only has it been done before, but its predecessor made it onto Letterman.

  • Rusnak44 / about 12 years ago / 1

    This project is great! I used compressed air and a PVC cannon, which shakes up my beer a bit... but is just plain awesome to fire. It is currently on its way to England for the Criag Norton Show! Keep it up man! My updated video along with the original are below.

  • froggydude / about 12 years ago / 1

    swe3t. ponoko's cool. ah yea,
    -'delta' ΔH!

  • fuse / about 12 years ago / 1

    Great work and all BUT I can see a problem here:
    The beer (or soda) gets a violent ride and whenn it arrives he probably has to wait so the beer dosen't explode all over him when he open's it

  • idox / about 12 years ago / 1


  • Mawrob / about 12 years ago / 1

    This was also done recently as a CO2 beer cannon using an iPhone and an ioBridge IO-204:

  • pvk_vicky2000 / about 12 years ago / 1

    but if you miss u're gonna have to go the fridge urself and get an ice bag to apply to the bruise on ur head
    BUT still.............pretty cool

  • N.Poole / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'd simplify the design by just mounting the mini-fridge above the couch (to the side... in case something terrible happens and it comes unattached) And stacking the cans sideways inside on a ramp with a little servo-controlled turnstile. That way, you can just build a little wire-ramp for the beer to drop and roll down, right to your hand ^^
    Or... Just toss a kegerator under the coffee table, grab the tap and go to town, lol.
    Great beer-a-pult though, good show.

  • cartufer / about 12 years ago / 1

    something tells me this wouldn't work well for bottles

  • VTGuy / about 12 years ago / 1

    This thing is loud. Sounds like a power drill or something. Also, does anyone else have a nice flat screen TV waiting to get smacked with a can of beer? Pretty neat otherwise.

  • @The Commitee: Which other movies have an all-AC/DC soundtrack?

  • tz / about 12 years ago / 1

    How long does it take for the fizzy drinks to defuse themselves so they can be safely opened?
    And, after consuming a - er - brown pop - much less two you are likely to have to get up in a few minutes anyway, or is there another device planned?

  • JRMorrisJr / about 12 years ago / 1


    Reminds me of some movie where there was a mal-functioning Pepsi vending machine that shot cans out like a canon.
    Maximum Overdrive:
    hahahaha... Sadly, I don't start laughing until the kids are running for cover! AC/DC had a cameo.

    • Black Angus Rocket Storm / about 12 years ago / 1

      By far the best film with an all AC/DC soundtrack. And just because it's the only one doesn't take anything away from that statement.

  • jakkjakk / about 12 years ago / 1

    I've heard of these before. Never actually seen a design but there's two problems with these. 1. Can/Beer will be shaken up when you catch it. 2. Dangerous. What if you miss the catch of the can? It's going to hurt you get hit in the head with it. It is still kinda cool.

  • scharkalvin / about 12 years ago / 1

    Hope he puts an insulated trap door into the top of the 'fridge or all the cold air will escape. (I realize the door was left open only to show how it works). If he makes the can rack out of a welded wire frame it will take up less room inside the fridge and it will hold more cans.
    Reminds me of some movie where there was a mal-functioning Pepsi vending machine that shot cans out like a canon.

    • Member #45249 / about 12 years ago / 1

      He may not need a door on the top, due to the laws of physics only minimal energy would be lost through the opening at the top. (heat rises, cold falls)

    • Hackbat / about 12 years ago / 1

      Stephen King's "Trucks"
      A short story turned into a made for tv movie

    • Azayles / about 12 years ago / 1

      I think that film was Tommyknockers. Rings a bell.

    • That was done by the mythbusters. (Before they were mythbusters)

  • J.R. / about 12 years ago / 1


  • Otirb / about 12 years ago / 1

    Nice work! Question is, how to keep the fridge insulated and cold?

    • TimCole / about 12 years ago / 1

      No problem! We need an Arduino-controlled CO2 fire extinguisher spray to pre-chill the beverages! :-) There's a great video showing Kari Byron (Mythbusters) chilling down beverages in just that way.

      • Azayles / about 12 years ago / 1

        Any video with Kari Byron in is gonna be a great one!

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