Let's Make Robots!

Ping pong balls launcher

Shoots ping pong balls!
PingPongBallsCannon.zip854 bytes

Hi everyone!

This was my first CNC and 3D printing project. 

It is a functional ping pong balls launcher designed to be controlled by an arduino (or any other microcontroller). It uses a servo to dispense the balls and two motors with wheels to give speed and shoot them.

All the plastic pieces can be printed using an 3D printer and the bases can be done using a CNC or a laser cutter. Have a look at the thingiverse page: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:29670

In order to build this you will need the following material:

  • Two servos
  • Two motors
  • Two o-rings
  • Two hinges
  • Bolts
  • Spacers
  • Motoruino (or any other micro-controller with an h-bridge)
  • Ping Pong Balls! 


I've had it shooting people at Campus Party, as you can see on the second video. Thanks lumi for the footage :D

On the pictures you can see all the assembling steps.


Have fun!



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Why are there some many cool things to build.......This is on my list now...... nice Walkthrough btw....

Also In the Video you show the Magabot being driven by a Steering wheel..... Is it a HID devise?.... or can you explain (in short is ok) the loop from steering wheel to Netbook. I have a number of projects that would profit from this intergration :-)


The steering wheel was a very old one. Its connector was very rusty and wasn't compatible which any of our computers (I don't remember what the type was), so I decided to open it and put there an arduino reading the sensors and sending the orders through serial.

On the computer I had this app running (https://bitbucket.org/XicoMBD/remoterobotcontroller/downloads) which, between other features, could receive the serial data from the arduino and send it through skype for the robot's netbook which was running the skypeRobotController app (https://bitbucket.org/Magabot/skyperobotcontroller/downloads), which re-sends the message to the robots arduino.

Feel free to use any of these programs and if you have any problem don't hesitate to ask ;-)

@all: XicoMDB gave me the launcher after the Campus Party, it's in Shanghai now and waiting in our hackerspace for a good purpose. 

Thanks XicoMDB for showing off the project with all the details. As I do not have time to use it for any of my projects I "donated" it to our hackerspace. The idea came up almost instantly, to use it for our planned periscope. It's a remote controlled periscope with a cam and you can control it from distance via internet. The launcher could be a very good attachment. I will document the process and post it here, so we can see how your launcher performs in China ;-)


This little shooter - mounted on any robot - gives a vivid interaction with the humans that come across. 

On the Campus Party the louncher in combination with the Magabot was a spectacle for the audience. Lot's of people stopped at our stand and got interested in our topic because of this louncher.

The robot wanted to play. The audience reflected that and started to play.

The precision and impulse of the louncher is incredible.

Great work, XicoMDB.

The combination of the shooter and the aiming software was very popular.

When people passed in front of the robot the robot was basically "challenging" them to play.

I loved it!

... maybe I should build a cheaper (cardboard based) version of the shooter... 

Do it! I forgot to say but I got inspired by this launcher: http://colvins.ca/?p=170

Have a look!

Thanks for sharing. That's a good clean fun project. I'm afraid I'll ruin the "clean" aspect with this question: is anyone else reminded of "Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert?" I loved that movie. It launched Hugo Weaving into stardom.