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Robotic Wellington Boot Thrower 128

An anonymous reader writes "A long established "sport" in the UK is that of welly wanging or seeing how far you can throw a wellington boot. Scientists at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth have built a robotic arm to perform this task, using an engine from a concrete mixer, and a gearbox from a Citroen along with several computers."
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Robotic Wellington Boot Thrower

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:10AM (#15968977)
    Welly-wanging used to MEAN something, man!!!!

    -Eric

  • Have built a what?

    It's a sleepless night, what else to do but refresh slashdot.
    • i thought it was icomplete too, at first but I think it is actually that enough wasn't cut. because this:
      "A long established "sport" in the UK is that of welly wanging or seeing how far you can throw a wellington boot. Scientists at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth have built a robotic arm to perform this task, using an engine from a concrete mixer, and a gearbox from a Citroen along with several computers." makes sense.
      Just take out "More details and a video at "

      i emaile
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Wornstrom ( 920197 )
      I gather it's some kind of robotic trebootchet
  • I think they're trying to revive the show.
  • No wonder the submitter chose to remain anonymous - but really, Timothy, you should hang your head in shame.

    RTFS!
  • by ecalkin ( 468811 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:13AM (#15968996)
    to boot a computer that's not booting, this seems to be a computer that boots boots?

    e.
  • by Red Jesus ( 962106 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:21AM (#15969036)
    In related news, Microsoft announced the development of a robotic chair-thrower to be bundled with Windows Vista.
    • great, they'll ruin another sport with that Robotic Rocker Wrecker
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      "In related news, Microsoft announced the development of a robotic chair-thrower to be bundled with Windows Vista."

      Apple responded by claimng that Microsoft's robotic chair-thrower was really just a cheap copy of one of their already existing Dashboard widgets. Security experts have issued several security advisories detailing the fact that the chair-thrower hooks directly to the Vista kernel, making it a major security risk.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Welsh are rumoured to have famous use for the humble wellington boot that actually involves wearing them. I'm sure someone can elaborate.
    • >I'm sure someone can elaborate.
      Welly boots keep the sheep's hindlegs dry and thus easier to hang on to. Probably.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        No, you tuck the sheeps legs into the legs of your wellies so it can't run away.
      • by Grab ( 126025 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @10:46AM (#15969679) Homepage
        Nah - amateur. I can tell you're not a Brit, an Aussie or a Kiwi! ;-)

        For the uninitiated: You wear the wellies. You put the sheep's hind-legs into the wellies. The sheep then can't escape.

        Velcro gloves are another useful extra. Allegedly.

        And apparently it's better done at the edge of a cliff - the sheep tends to push back more. Again allegedly.

        Grab.
  • by GMontag ( 42283 )
    An Army tradition anyway, is to tie a pair of boots together by the laces and toss them into a tree when leaving the Army. Objective is to get them into the tree, not distance. Do not attempt with a soldier who is wearing the boots unless that soldier is passed out (never with a Ranger, passed out or not).

    Thought it was funny that a variant on this was used in the movie "Wag the Dog" as a substitute for the yellow ribbon thing that is popular now.

    Something similar happens in maintenance shops. People thro
  • by ciaohound ( 118419 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:30AM (#15969100)
    A team has taken an engine from a concrete mixer and a gearbox from a Citroen 2CV and devised the robotic "wanger"

    And then Lister and Rimmer attached it to Kryten and showed him how to enjoy the delights of the space brothel.
  • "wanger"? surely there's a better word for this kind of mechanical system? maybe it's obvious but i can't think of something myself right now.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:34AM (#15969122) Journal
    Slashdotters, please no jokes about how boring life must be in England if chucking a boot passes for sport. There are some redeeming qualities for this sport and one can guess how it got to be established.

    In England they play this infernal thing called cricket. Some two guys take turns to face a red ball that is chucked from some 22 yards away surrounded by some 11 players and two umpires. It goes on and on for some three days. They break every hour for drinks, and then take a lunch break and a tea break. Then they take a rest day. Then they all come back and continue the damn thing for two more days. One would think it has long enough and they will have a winner at the end. But the most common result after five days is, get it, a DRAW .

    Fans, or monorons who paid good money and their time watch this farce pretending to be a sport, threw whatever they had in their hands at the players and the umpires out of frustration and one guy managed to hit the umpire with a well aimed wellington boot. Thus was born the great sport of well chucking. Say what you will about it. The contest is over quickly and the winner is declared. Take that you fanboys of MCC.

    • ... but this is in Wales, so you can bring out all the boring jokes you want ;)

    • Well,

      Maybe that's what your perception of life is like in England - however, in Wales (where this refers to) is a lot more interesting.

      Maps are interesting things - can I recommend buying one

      I'm off to watch rounders\n\n\n\n\n\n\n baseball - that's alot more interesting.

      Not really news - but it is silly season. Next up, a made-up survey about how little work everybody does.

    • You may not be aware of this, but the University of Wales, Aberystwyth is in Wales, not England. They have a very nice campus situated just above the town, full of trees and with a good view of the sea. It's just a shame they're so far away from, well, everything.
    • Slashdotters, please no jokes about how boring life must be in England if chucking a boot passes for sport. There are some redeeming qualities for this sport and one can guess how it got to be established.
      No jokes are warrented as long as this [punkinchunkin.com] is a sport.
    • by Grab ( 126025 )
      Hey, the US has horseshoes too. At least we get to throw something that has an alternative use - how many horseshoe throwers will put the shoes back on their horse? ;-)

      And no-one who plays baseball is in a position to criticise cricket! Especially with a "World Series" with no teams from outside the US. At least the UK managed to export cricket (although God only knows how or why - you'd think other countries had their own bizarre sports).

      For my money, I'd like to see more kabaddi. Great game, like a sl
      • And no-one who plays baseball is in a position to criticise cricket! Especially with a "World Series" with no teams from outside the US.

        As was said in the movie Independence Day, "That's not entirely correct." There was a time when the Montreal Expos were part of baseball and thus, World Series, was correct. However, they moved to Washington, D.C. and are now known as the Washington Nationals.

        Get it? Washington Nationals, located in Washington, D.C. Get it? Yeah, that's what I thought when I h

      • Well, in 1992 and 1993 the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series, and still continue to be a functioning baseball team to this day. Last time I checked, Toronto was in Canada, which, contrary to popular belief, is not in the US.

        On the flip side, they seem to be the only Canadian team left in Major League Baseball.
        • by ynohoo ( 234463 )
          Canada doesn't really count as a "foreign" country. Well, except Quebec.

          Now if you could get a Mexican team involved, you could at least call it the North American Series.

          Baseball is dull. But it just can't compete with Cricket, which is truely monumentally dull.
  • "Other than building the machine itself, the main challenge for us has been getting the computer systems to talk to each other and then to interact with all the hardware," said Mr Shipman.

    These guys are pretty piss-poor scientists. Having troubles with an overly and unnecessarily complex system. Trying to use finesse to gain distance when additional power is highly available. Flings 6 boots; have they thought about counterweight problems, balance, efficiency, etc. These guys need a large dose of KISS eng
    • Oh, come on. University research work can sometimes be a dry experience, dictated for a large part by the associated departments. These chaps are just trying to have a bit of fun playing around with some work that doesn't matter and seeing what they can do with it, all the time drumming up some awareness of their University (and, of course, the new series of Scrapheap Challenge).

      Any idiot can do some sums and design a machine that can hurl a boot the optimum distance, but that's hardly any fun, is it?

      Th

    • ""Other than building the machine itself, the main challenge for us has been getting the computer systems to talk to each other and then to interact with all the hardware," said Mr Shipman."

      Sounds like trouble with third-party drivers. So I'm pretty sure Microsoft is to blame for the problem...
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by jense ( 978975 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @09:36AM (#15969134) Homepage
    We are no longer a British colony. And why we invented baseball.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Macthorpe ( 960048 )
      Yes. Invented.

      You didn't, say, just steal the concept of rounders [wikipedia.org] at all.
      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        We didn't even steal the concept of rounders and turn it into baseball. Baseball really is a British invention. The idea that it is American (and "America's past-time") was just a marketing ploy by Spalding to sell althletic equipment.

        Wikipedia has a nice article on The Origin of Baseball [wikipedia.org].
  • So this is basicly the pretentious British nerd version of http://www.punkinchunkin.com/ [punkinchunkin.com]
    • by markana ( 152984 )
      Yes, but without the charm and style. Lets face it, there's a certain grace and elegance to a roughly spherical, ruddy-orange member of the vegetable kingdom sailing a goodly distance in a perfect ballistic trajectory. Not to mention the spectacular landings...

      Brings tears to my eyes.

      Just try that with a stodgy old boot...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...throwing a boot?!? They really now how to par-tay.
  • and their oddball sports?

    I mean, welly-wanging and conkers (England), hurling and road bowling (Ireland), caber toss and golf (Scotland). OK so maybe golf turned out to have pretty wide appeal. There are probably weird Welsh and Manx games too, and no doubt. I don't even want to think about what they're up to on the Isle of Scilly.

    It makes you wonder whether there is some hallucinagenic compound that when consumed in warm beer makes young drunks think throwing telephone poles around is a test of manlines
  • One evening this summer I found myself in Green Park [multimap.com] with my missus at the time, and was a little bewildered to see a welly-tossing competition in full, er, swing. I had never seen the sport before, yet there were a group of about 50 or so people of all ages drinking merrilly and lobbing the odd boot with a beer in hand. Bizarre- but quite the spectator sport, not as much fun to behold as kiddie curling [henrickson.org] though (scroll 1/2way down article).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They are throwing the boots at cats, right? Otherwise, what would be the point.
  • From TFA: If you want your welly wanged, look no further than this bright idea.

    Something about the diesel engine from a concrete mixer and a gearbox from a Citroen 2CV makes me NOT want to let it wang my welly...

  • Can the same system be used to throw chairs?
  • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes.xmsnet@nl> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @10:09AM (#15969400)
    Aludium Q36 Welly Modulator

    The only thing missing is the earth-shattering kaboom.
  • I can assure you that willy-wanking is practiced across the globe!

    I am very good at it myself, and so are most slashdotters I guess...
  • Who throws a shoe? Honestly!
  • What a complete waste of money! Surely these clever guys could have put the time and money towards something more constructive and useful?!
    • by Zorque ( 894011 )
      If this upsets you, I'd recommend never reading Engadget. Yesterday they had a story about a guy who built a hotplate needing 30 USB connections.
  • Look, just because you tie some odd mechanical systems together with a computer doesn't make it a robot.
    'Robotic' boot chucker? No. 'Mechanical' boot chucker? Yes.
  • I can replace my drummer... he's hopelessly out of time...
  • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:10PM (#15970438)

    >gearbox from a Citroen

    There have been any number of pithy comments about the desecration of this purest of sports by the use of a mechanical apparatus. I, for one, am shocked by the inclusion of French components in what should be a purely British endeavour. Granted, the ease of finding a dead Citroen may have contributed to this, but for form's sake I should have thought using an old Anglia transmission would have been a nice touch.

  • Well (that's a deep subject)... This is all great and fine and dandy, but can this "wonderful toy" make coffee?

    (Where does he get those wonderful toys?)

  • I prefer the "Pumpkin Chunkin" contest myself, now that's some range!
    http://www.punkinchunkin.com/ [punkinchunkin.com]

    What's more fun than shooting a pumpkin over 4,000 ft?! http://www.punkinchunkin.com/results2005.htm [punkinchunkin.com]
  • In a related news item, scientists at the University of Adelaide have developed a robotic arm for tossing dwarves - film at eleven.

"I just want to be a good engineer." -- Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, concluding his keynote speech at the 1988 AppleFest

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