There are so many activities that are only enjoyable if you're the one participating. Anyone who's listened to their weather-beaten neighbor complete an excruciating eleven-minute version of "Purple Rain" knows that karaoke is one of them. So are weddings. And so is beer pong. The only thought going through a beer pong spectator's mind should be "Why am I standing here watching this?" That could be why–so far–there has been a muted response to the PongBot, a robotic beer pong accessory whose one purpose seems to be to make beer pong games last even longer.
The Pongbot, which, as of this writing, has reached less than 20% of its $100,000 Kickstarter goal, is a robotic cup holder that zips your Solo cups randomly around the table while you're playing beer pong. "Pongbot absolutely raises the bar on everyone's favorite party game […] it's a game of skill–man vs. bot!" the Kickstarter description shouts, virtually fist-bumping you at the end of every sentence.
Pongbot can hold up to five cups in its plastic caddie, and it will either automatically whiz itself across the playing surface or it can be maneuvered with a small remote control. This probably sounds familiar to everyone who's ever carefully arranged their pong-cups on top of a Roomba, although the Pongbot won't simultaneously clear the table of salted pretzel shards. It's also considerably cheaper than using your Roomba as a $400 party game; Pongbot can be yours for a Kickstarter pledge of $40 or more, which leaves a lot of cash left for Coors Light and Solo cups.
Pongbot creators Alan Dorfman and Jason Esterow aren't the only bros who have been inspired by those games of Roomba pong: earlier this summer, a California man tried to Kickstart his way to a prototype for Dodge Pong, which was described as a "moving/rotating version of beer pong." The campaign failed, possibly because the product photo was six cups and a ping-pong ball poorly Photoshopped on top of a Roomba.
Pongbot has four days to raise another $80 grand and change before it ends up in Kickstarter's failed file too. Whether it makes it or not, the campaign will undoubtedly be punctuated with a game of beer pong. Sadly, someone is going to have to stand around and watch.