Coffee Time Challenge
Things are picking up
Anyone who has ever used a golf driving range knows that someone, somehow, has to pick up the balls afterwards.
This is a matter of cost, since staff have to be paid to go out and collect balls, and the paying punters are not hitting balls and earning money for the business while balls are being collected. Furthermore, while golf balls are fairly easy to pick up, there are in addition, industrial applications where balls have to be picked up and put into bearings.
Our challenge this month is therefore to come up with a mechanical method of picking up large numbers of balls, whether they be large or small, or used for sport or in industry.
Picking them up by hand is clearly time-consuming, and picking them up with a dustpan and brush is also somewhat tedious, since the picker upper has to bend or squat down, and manoeuvre the pan and brush around the floor to retrieve the balls. One could use a broom to sweep up balls on a smooth floor, but such a solution is unlikely to work well with golf balls on grass.
What is needed is something simple that can be pushed along and allows the balls to be quickly gathered up. Some kind of vacuum cleaner would do it, but would in our opinion, constitute overkill as would making and using a swarm of small, mobile, electronic robots.
There is however, an invention which we have seen demonstrated that solves the problem most elegantly and looks to be inexpensive to manufacture. Once you see it, you may consider it obvious, except that it is innovative enough to be protected by patent. The invention will be described fully in our October edition. See if you can come up with anything better.
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