A homemade, screw-like device that managed to climb vertically on a rope and then dive down to raise a “space elevator” won first prize in the Technorosh (Techno Brain) competition last week.
The winners – who included an octogenarian kibbutznik – received a NIS 10,000 prize in the annual competition.
The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa’s competition is in memory of graduate Neev-Ya Durban, who established the competition.
He was murdered during a mugging in Tel Aviv 11 years ago, while serving as an officer in the IDF.
Yishai Zimmerman, the head of the metalworks factory at Kibbutz Ein Harod, won with his son-in-law Ronen Atzili.
“My granddaughter was using the Internet when she suddenly saw an announcement of the competition,” said Zimmerman, who had participated in two previous Technorosh competitions.
Participants were not allowed to use open flame, battery or other inflammable source of energy.
“We adapted the idea of a screw-like ‘engine’ from the world of plastic pipe manufacturing, with the material made by extrusion,” Zimmerman said.
The device rose very quickly into the sky over the Technion and succeeded in its mission.
Zimmerman said he and his son-in-law would use the money to finance the costs of their next entry in Technorosh.
Engineer Yuri Artsotanov, who developed the idea of the “space elevator,” was a guest of honor at the competition – this was his first visit to Israel.
He had developed the idea from the work done by scientist Constantine Chaolkovsky in the late 1950s The competition and the prizes are funded by Dr. Robert Shillman (nicknamed “Dr.Bob”), who did his graduate work at the Technion.