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:: Portfolio :: Pedal Powered Tennis - Ball Launcher

Saving the World One Tennis Ball at a Time
Created for the Specialized Innovate-or-Die Contest.
By Daniel Bauen and Dino Mantri

Both cleanly powered and built from 2 recycled bicycles, scrap steel and wood, leaking 5 gallon water jug and a lacross stick, our pedal powered tennis ball launcher was created as a unique entry for the innovate or die pedal powered machine contest.
It allows players varying in skill levels to practice to be better at both tennis and cycling. The launcher is towed to the court on its built-in bicycle trailer. A bike is secured to it and functions to drive the device. Pedaling the cycle as one would on a trainer drives the two launcher wheels. The cyclist then aims and pulls the lever to launch balls to the hitter.

The team was comprised of:
Daniel Bauen - Team Leader, Designer, Builder, Video Editing, Pedaler
Dino Mantri - Concept, Designer, Builder, Script writer on strike
Cindy Zheng - Video Editor, Narrator, Tennis Ball Pickerupper
Nick Hembree - Original Music Composition "Spirit of the Hippie"
Diego Kirsch - Camera Man, Suggestion Maker
Thanks To: Bret Barkelew for support and Stunt Driving


High Speed Videos of Launcher in Action:

300 frame per second high speed video taken with the Casio Ex-F1 

600 frame per second high speed video taken with the Casio Ex-F1 


Construction:

Trailer Frame:
Components for the trailer frame were scavenged from an old child trailer, including the wheels, axle, and hitch that connects to the bike. The frame is constructed from 2x4's and 2x2's.

Drive Mechanism:
The drive mechanism is built entirely from scrap bike parts. The bike wheel rolls on a bike hub. A chain links the hub to a sprocket welded to a bike headset, which is used as a bearing block. A drive shaft connects to the other end of the headset to transmit power to another headset bearing block with welded sprocket. A chain goes up from there to the freewheel of a 20 inch bike wheel. The chain does not wrap around the freewheel, because I needed to reverse the direction of rotation of the launcher wheel. The video below shows the details of the drive mechanism.

Pedal Powered Tennis Ball Launcher Drive Mechanism from Engineerable


Press:

Raquet Sports Industry magazine article
BoingBoing

MakeTV

Maker Channel Episode 106, Smash Bat, I Eat Beats, Tennis Launcher, Evil Mouse from make magazine



 

 

 
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