Inspirations for Joe’s Project

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.

throwerFigure 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.

homemade throwerFigure 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.

TrebuchetFigure 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.

 DwightFigure 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.

BoxFigure 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.








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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jakob Oreskovich
    May 4, 2016 2:45 pm

    I have to agree with Chris Coffman on this one. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve become very close to him the past few months working on the same senior design team, or his innovative idea. But I feel drawn towards his statements and have to echo them myself. A creature inside of the box is integral to the functionality and purpose of the box. As Chris puts it, “I really like the idea”. Truer words have never been spoken.

  • I really like the idea of the useless box. I think you could go a lot of different ways with the idea, and use creativity to customize it for whatever theme you choose. I think it would be funny to have a small creature inside of the box looking back at you when it opened. I am sure you could find plenty of online resources to assist you with the design of the box.

  • I love the idea of this project. Its so whimsical and silly in its uselessness, but can have some really cool aesthetic design. I love the idea of Wall-E eyes staring at you from the box! It would be cool if depending on how many times you pressed the button over a period of time it could make different faces at you open differently, kind of like you were bugging the robot over and over again. Please let me know if you need any help with the electrical or mechanical design stuff. I’m happy to act as a consultant.


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