A local woman, Briana Gardell, started a business making throwable paintballs called Goblies while she was a Technical Entrepreneurship student at Lehigh University. Her Goblies are now distributed nationwide through Michael's and Walmart. Our Fab Lab decided that we needed to collaborate on an awesome project to follow up TOBOR, our gigantic robotic dinosaur. Everyone loves launching things - including potatoes and pumpkins - and with the popularity and success of Goblies (plus the ability to collaborate locally) we knew we had found the perfect ammunition!
The Goblies Cannon in its first iteration is mounted on a board of plywood, but is intended to be enhanced by turning it into something along the lines of a Civil War cannon or perhaps a tank. The air system features a small VIAIR compressor and 1 gallon air tank, along with 4 solenoid valves, a pressure sensor, an air cylinder, and a bunch of connections, hoses, and fittings. Everything is controlled by an Arduino, including sound effects during launching!