Lacrosse Cannon

Problem: High School students need to learn projectile motion (with industrial sized cannons)Project Description

Solution: Lacrosse ball cannon with feedback


First off, who wouldn't want a remote controlled cannon, let alone the use of it in a high school environment for educational purposes? The best way to learn is to do. That said, physics demos teach students, the better the demo the more engraved the topic is in their minds. so why not make a system which uses a completely overpowered cannon to demonstrate projectile motion. This project implements driving big old all electronics lcd'sserial communications, sound generation, speaker hookup  along with some new topics such as motor control and keyboard/joystick input.

Cannon in Action:

Part 1: The Base

The system consists of a two axis base with pneumatic firing and auto reloading mechanism. The base is constructed from 8020 (aka industrial Kinex) some iron shelving brackets, and misc. assembly hardware. Most of the parts are available from your local family owned hardware store.

Initial model
initial design -Dane
Project Breakdown

Part 2: The Controls

Structure aside, heres the good part. Our inputs are: a wireless input device, a position sensor (potentiometer) and a joystick. Our outputs are: a character lcd, two motor controllers, two servos, 2 solenoids.

Controlling motors (H-Bridge)
The Joystick
Tying it all together 

Part 3: The Results

        We were allowed something like 4 shots during the competition, of which one knocked the goal askew. For pressure, our team used an air compressor for a nail gun.

[Competition Image Gallery]

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
Electrical & Electrical Power

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