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Video: Confectionery cannon fires…



A team of engineers at Olin College in Needham (Massachusetts) have created an Arduino-powered “confectionery canon” designed to track targets before launching a… marshmallow!

“To control our mechanical and pneumatic system we developed a robust electrical system,” the engineering team explained on the project’s official page.

“We use a custom protoshield on our [Atmel-based] Arduino to connect and control our four servos – and we trigger our pneumatic launcher by controlling a solenoid on a sprinkler valve.”

Face tracking technology for target acquisition? OpenCV for Python and motor actuation via serial communication between Python and Arduino.

The total cost? $250, with the entire platform designed using SolidWorks and tools offered at the school, including laser-cutting technology to construct specific pieces of the platform.

“Most of the parts are acrylic, which we chose primarily for its cost and ease of laser-cutting,” the team added. “Acrylic isn’t very strong and is quite brittle, but it’s less than a third the cost of acetyl (Delrin). The three aluminium parts were made from shop scrap.”

The confectionery cannon was designed by Forrest Bourke (’16, ECE), Saarth Mehrotra (’16, ECE), Michael Searing (’16, MechE) and Elliot Wyse (’15, MechE).

Interested in learning more about the confectionery cannon? You can check out the project’s official page here and additional coverage on Boston Magazine here.