Project Evolution:


When I started designing my final project, I thought I was going to be making a game.  I wanted to design an apparatus that launched ping pong balls accurately into cups, making my robot into a game of sorts.  When deciding how to launch ping pong balls, I decided I wanted to use a stomp pad.   I had catapult options and spring loading options, but I was really adamant about using air instead.

  I decided the best thing to make would be a Lego tower with a chute on one side and a pulley and weight system on the other; the weight would be drawn up and dropped on the stomp pad, and a ball would fly out of the chute…simple right? 

Immediately I ran into problems.  Lifting and dropping a 1Kg mass using nothing but string and Legos turned out to be a bit more difficult than expected.  Next thing I knew, I had spent days on just the mechanical aspect of the structure and concluded that an accurate, aimable cup game would be nearly impossible to make in time, so I opted for a slightly similar, yet just as entertaining, project:  a kinetic sculpture of a NASA shuttle launch.