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Andrea sent in this awesome pedal powered tennis ball launcher!

This is a chimera tennis ball cannon made from a bike that you can pedal. It is both cleanly powered and built from recycled bicycles. It allows players varying in skill levels to practice to be better at both tennis and cycling. The launcher is towed to the court on its built-in bicycle trailer. A bike is secured to it and functions to drive the device. Pedaling the cycle as one would on a trainer drives the two launcher wheels. The cyclist then aims and pulls the lever to launch balls to the hitter.

Pedal powered tennis ball launcher – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Mr. Biggs says:

    While I respect the craftsmanship, I question the logic.

    Wouldn’t the furiously pedaling fella be more comfortable reaching down into a bucket, grabbing a ball, then swinging a racket to “launch” it? While he’s at it…why not just hit the ball back and forth, over and over. You could make a game out of it.

    One guy could hit a ball over the net, then the other guy could hit it back. The first one to hit it outside the….wait. Uh,…

    Nevermind.

    -Biggs
    askmrbiggs.com

  2. tennisyo says:

    I like it, because as a tennis player, I use a tennis ball machine just to practice technique. With this you can practice with a friend and take turns improving your swing. It’s convenient that it can be pulled behind a bike, but probably needs to be made smaller.

  3. pedalPoweredDino says:

    @Biggs: Daniel and I will post the Directors Cut and making of videos shortly to give you an idea of the spirit behind the machine. Also thanks for the comment on the craftsmanship, the lion’s share of that is attributable to Daniel who’s a MechE.

    Simply put, Daniel spends bikes around Europe in his free time while I can handily put a succession of balls through the fence on my serve. So while both of us like participating in each others sport we are hampered by each others differing abilities. This project was a hare-brained off the wall way to kill Thanksgiving break making something really fun and geeky to combine the two sports.

    @Tennisyo: You hit it on the head, it’s a goofy way to get some practice doing both things. Pedaling is a nightmare burn and the thing weighs a beast, but it gives great consistent service and lets your work on your biking cadence and endurance.

    We’re very appreciative of the enthusiasm and we’ll get the rest of the videos out shortly.

  4. Woeka says:

    Thank god you are wearing a helmet. ;)

  5. Takato says:

    Someone needs to try this with a motorcycle and than watch the news as much as possible for the next few days.

  6. Takato says:

    Someone needs to try this with a motorcycle and than watch the news as much as possible for the next few days.

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