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Have MoJo couch, will travel

02/12/2006

A Short History of Mojo
Excerpted from the Society of Physics Students Website

Mojo was purchased by the members of the SPS several years ago, and had been in a state of disrepair for a long time. We made several attempts to fix it, patching holes with duct tape, putting new pieces of wood in for broken ones, and fixing the springs on the bottom of the couch. Eventually, we decided to take it out of our lounge in the Physics Building to decide whether to give it a complete overhaul, trash it or do something else with it. Eventually the idea was pitched to put a motor into the couch and make it drivable. The idea caught on, and members began to come out to work on it.

However, the semester began to pick up and due to classes, busy schedules, and research, the couch just sat for several weeks.  Finally, during winter break, real work began on the couch and we scavenged for spare parts and a few lawnmower engines. Once we had the final plan established and all the parts we needed, construction took a couple of weeks. Our goal was to have the couch up and running for the night of The Society of Physics Students' club callout.  At 8:00pm while the officers were directing the callout, we took the couch outside to give it a first test drive.  It worked. The couch moved between 3 and 5mph, turned on a dime, and was the biggest hit of the callout.  The couch still had several kinks to work out and some parts broke that first night, but by the next weekend, we were driving it around campus. We had a drivable couch!

At that point, Jeremiah Kemp contacted Duct Tape to discuss a possible sponsorship. They responded very encouragingly, and invited us to take the couch on parade during their 2006 Duct Tape Festival in Avon, OH, as well as provide us with enough duck tape to cover the entire couch and some money to make further improvements.  Articles in the Purdue Exponent and the Lafayette Journal-Courier followed.   Soon after, Nick Mellott received an email from ABC, asking us to appear on Good Morning America on Monday, and later another from CBS asking for an interview.