For my final project I wanted to do something fun and interactive. In one of my previous posts I had mentioned that I greatly enjoy playing sports. One “sport” in particular that I enjoy is dodgeball. Because of this, my first idea was to create one of two things. The first things being a dodgeball thrower to allow for practicing both dodging and catching. The other idea I had would be a product that could sense the location of the ball and react to it dodging it. This second idea, although extraordinarily fun, would also be incredibly difficult to make. For this reason, I decided that the first idea would be optimal.
Once again, I had entered a crossroads. My first idea was to create something similar to a baseball pitching device. I did some research on this, and it seemed like a somewhat realistic idea.
Figure 1: Baseball Pitching Device
In addition to looking at professional made ones, I looked at the possibility of a homemade one. I found things similar to the image below.
Figure 2: Homemade Baseball Pitching
Thinking about this more forced me to come to the conclusion that a dodgeball is much softer than a baseball and will most likely not have the acceleration as a baseball would and the softer texture could cause it to tear.
My other idea to throw the ball was to try to make a trebuchet and launch it.
Figure 3: Trebuchet
This reminded me of something I saw on the office; a snowball throwing device that was used as a prank against Jim from Dwight.
Figure 4: Dwight Schrute Snowballs
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find an image of the actual product, but this was the closest thing I could find. (This is from the same episode). The product was a small box that when opened launched the snowball at the openers face. This product further reminded me of a prank box that has a switch that forces the box to close.
Figure 5: Box that Closes Itself
Finally, I believe that this is what I want to do for my final project. I want it to be simple, but fun and playful. In addition, I want it to be somewhat childlike. One of the aesthetics I will be aiming for is of a small robotic creature. When the box slightly opens, I want there to be something similar to Wall-e hiding inside staring back at you. Hopefully, I will be able to overcome the mechanical and electrical challenges that I’m not an expert at.