by Will Park

It’s that time of year when NVIDIAns take a break from work to pick a friendly fight with their colleagues.

NVIDIAns take their tinker toy
catapult-building skills seriously

Last week, more than 300 employees at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based headquarters took part in the 2011 NVIDIA Catapult Confrontation, in which 10-person teams designed a ping-pong ball catapult using only tinker toys and rubber bands.

With prizes like Fuji 3D digital cameras (capable of capturing 3D stereoscopic photos) and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets on the line, dozens of catapult teams combined a healthy dose of competitive spirit, a dollop of innovation and a dash of elbow grease to create the perfect catapult.

Teams were evaluated on: catapult design, team spirit, ping-pong ball distance and accuracy.

Team GPU Methodology Mavericks won “Best Design” for their creative-and-functional catapult design. All team members received an NVIDIA “airport scanner-safe” backpack and a portable laptop stand.

Catapults were graded on how far
they could launch a ping-pong ball

The Team Spirit award went to the Snapdragon Slayers for their passionate portrayal of NVIDIA Tegra “slaying” a mythical snapdragon. Their thespian efforts won them Apple TVs.

Team Emarhavil Heavy Ballistic Engineering won the prize for the most accurate catapult. After knocking over the most plastic cups, the team won Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets.

Team Masters of the Universe took home top honors as the team with the most powerful catapult of the bunch. They fired their ping pong ball a full 35 feet. Their prizes: a set of FujiFilm FinePix 3D Digital Cameras.

Congratulations to the winning teams, and thanks for your creative and entertaining antics. Anyone found selling their prizes on eBay will hereby be used as targets for next year’s catapult contest.

Enjoy the photo gallery below.