Manitoba curling club builds world’s first rock throwing machine
MORRIS, MB – When it comes to creating new curling technology, the only way is through the sport’s old traditions.
“Over a beer, we were talking about it and realized we had the same vision,” Phil Bernardin of Eascan Automation Inc. said.
That dream – build the first ever curling rock throwing machine. It took 18 months and roughly $40,000 but the Morris Curling Club now has one in its house.
“We knew the world had tried and failed,” co-inventor Lorne Hamblin said. “We said why not try one more.”
Lorne and his wife, Chris, teamed up with Winnipeg-based manufacturer Eascan Automation Inc. to design the 12-foot-long apparatus.
It promises to teach curlers to judge rocks and help improve their sweeping. Every shot the machine sends down the ice is nearly 100% accurate.
“You don’t have to rely on someone saying that they throw the rock the exact same way every time because no one can,” Bernardin said.
The machine is capable of throwing a variety of shots including a 4.84 second peel – faster than any professional can deliver a stone.
“Every time we use it, we see other opportunities for how it can help teams better their skills,” Chris Hamblin said.
The inventors don’t plan to hog the rock throwing machine. They hope to one day build more to sell to other curling clubs.
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