The newest project the Robo Vikes are working on is an automatic t shirt cannon. We wanted a cool way to interact with students and fans that still relates to robotics as a whole. The idea we came up with was similar to other activities done at football or volleyball games, throwing t shirts of the activity into the crowd. This project gives students something to work on these weeks, and something to design on the robot we have built
After looking at multiple designs, the group working on the project decided we wanted multiple barrels in order to not have to reload the shirts after each use. Led by Michael Gnatovic, the group spent the last week designing and building a single working prototype. Through trial and error, the cannon will be refined to work best before being duplicated for the robot. We are improving its distance, as well as limiting its size and looks.
They have to finalize the cannon part before building a diagram in CAD and implementing the cannons on the robot. Eryk Ross, a group member, says “he is dreaming of shooting t-shirts at people.” This cannon can fulfil his dreams once it is working properly on the robot.
The cannon is designed to be able to have multiple chambers working off the same compressor. Each barrel can hold its own t shirt, and each has its own air tank. One compressor fills each individual tank, and each tank has a valve that opens to propel the t shirts. In the tube, the expanding pressure shoots the shirts a certain distance depending on the pressure we put in its tank.
We plan to have this robot to have six barrels and be controlled to drive around before shooting its shirts at the crowd or items it is involved with.
The prototype is currently operating well and with a bit more refinement, we can make it shoot further than it has before. We will soon have a t-shirt cannon that is operational and functioning, which will give teams support during games, and get help get other things involved with the Robo Vikes.
Written by Marcos Crane