Handicapped Golfball Launcher

Okay, here's the situation - my cousin(www.carlricciotrust.com) was injured about 2 years ago(at 17 years old) and is now a quadraplegic.
He was a great athlete prior to his injury. I thought of this idea about a year ago but then never acted on it. The other day a searched the internet and found one similar project but it isn't for sale - soooo here is what I am looking for:
A remote controlled golfball launcher.
It has to be portable so that it can easily be moved from shot to shot on a golf course. It needs to be able to launch a golf ball up to 300 yards. The power should be variable so intermediate shots can be made. Also the barrell(pvc pipe or other) needs to be adjustable so different angles of shot can be made. All this needs to be remote controlled so he can perform these functions from a wheelchair. For example:
At the tee shot: 1)Someone can load the device with a ball.
2)From his wheelchair the shooter has a remote that operates the device. Note:The remote has 3 controls: a)rotate device(it can sit on a swivel base) so that the desired shot direction is possible. b)Club selector(this would control the angle of the barrell from 0 to 70 degrees so the shooter can choose the loft, zero degrees would be used in putting so the barrell is resting on the ground) c)power selection(this can be done many ways but my idea would be an oscillating LED display(similar to what you see in video games) that the shooter can push a button when the desired power level is shown(this gives more realism so bad shots can be made as well as good ones) The club selection would also control the power level because depending on the club selected, the min/max power outputs would be different - for example a driver would be from 0 - 100% power output from the piston while the putter would be from 0 - .5%
3)After the direction, club and power level the device would shoot the ball accordingly.
4)The device can be taken to the location where the ball landed, reloaded and the process begins again
5)Once on the green the putter can be slected from the remote and(depending on the accuracy of the device) if the ball comes within a few feet of the hole it would be considered good.
So anybody wanna give me some advice as to how to build this thing? I'm a programmer so developing software for the device would be easier than the device creation(obviously). Also is there anyplace that I could pay to create this? Who does such things? How much(best estimate) would something like this cost for me to build on my own or farm out to someone?
I'd love any feedback you can give. This would be a great thing for any handicapped person not just my cousin. Would also be fun for non-handicapped(like a video game but outdoors).
Thanks so much, Mike
You can post here a reply or contact me at o_gpla snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com(remove the underscores)
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An interesting project ! I'd be tempted to hit the ball with a 'real' club. This obviously needs quite a force to swing, so I'd go for bungey (elastic) cords for the power. They could be wound by hand or some slow motor, and then a catch would release the action. The aiming stuff that you want could be done mechanically, or obviously using a few electric motors. For a prototype I'd go the mechanical route for winding and aiming (this assumes that there is an able bodied helper) - second version could use as much fancy electronics as you want.
One thing that is not clear to me is how your cousin can 'sight' where the aim is - my guess that things would be fairly frustrating if he couldn't.
Dave
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Thanks for the suggestions but I think shooting from a pneumatic "air gun" type configuration rather than hitting with an actual club would offer more control. Also for his "sighting" or aiming of the device he has a motorized wheelchair and drives on the course right now with it so it would be possible for him to get semi-close enough to eyeball where the device is pointing the shot(or possibly for more accuracy a laser can draw a 10 foot line on the ground in the direction the device is pointed).
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wrote:

You may want to look for pneumatic spud guns or pneumatic potato guns. I doubt you will allowed access to a golf course with this gizmo. At close range firing a golf ball could easily kill somebody. You probably work out most of the operating issues using a cheap paint ball gun.
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shb*NO*SPAM*@comporium.net (Si Ballenger) writes:

Take a couple of wheels/tires off an old wheelchair. Hook them up to a pair of direct drive motors, you probably need motors that spin faster than the wheelchair motors could provide, but salvaging the batteries from the old wheelchair might work. Mount the wheels so they lie in the same plane, rather than parallel to each other. Separate the edges of the wheels by a little less than the diameter of a golf ball. Use a strip of metal to make a small chute that will let the golf ball roll down and in between the two tires. Crank the motors up to warp speed, let the golf ball roll, make sure your life and health insurance are paid up, and see what happens.
There is a web page out there somewhere that shows this method being used to shoot two-by-four's (for those of you not in the U.S., that is a piece of lumber about 4cm x 9 cm x 300 cm) off to the horizon.
Built a mechanical method of letting you control positioning and speed and you should have yourself a fine golf ball driver. Putting with something like this would be a little more difficult :)
You might also go look at the machine used to fire balls for batting practice, that might give you some other ideas.
Disclaimer: I've never done anything like this, and if you hurt someone with this idea then it isn't my fault.
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Some nice ideas, thanks. I am actually speaking with someone who has a similar idea as mine patented.
To address some of your concerns: Yes of course it's dangerous, but so is swinging a club 120 MPH and hitting someone in the head or hitting a ball that smacks someone in the face/head. Likewise the device is dangerous(granted more) but as long as it is handled properly(eg. don't load golf ball unless it is pointing towards the hole and away from bystanders) it should be fine.
This would be a great new addition to the things a quadraplegic could get involved in and enjoy. Competition is a great thing and to have some of that feeling back, however limited, is something anyone would want to have. To not watch from the side but instead participate, albeit in a alternative way, would great.
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