Help Required to build a ball firing machine

Hi all, We are a group of 3rd yr Mechanical Engineering students. Currently, we have a project which involves producing an autonomous
machine to pick up a foam ball and shoot at 3 targets. As we have zero knowledge in robotics, I wonder if anyone here could help us by providing us with information of relevant websites or books which we can refer to in order to produce a one. Hopefully, there would more information on how to grab the ball as we feel that this is the most difficult part. Would appreciate all the help we can get. Thank you for reading this message.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A battery-powered vacuum cleaner can pick up foam balls quite easily.
It is light-weight and can be controlled by a computer easily also.
--
- Alan Kilian <alank(at)timelogic.com>
Director of Bioinformatics, TimeLogic Corporation 763-449-7622
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Alan Kilian wrote:

Velcro too :-)
I'd suggest vacuum cleaner though, or one of those "garden vac" things as they have nice "output" which you can direct straight into your hopper.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For something on the dangerous side [fun for college students], I recall at my high-school graduation party, someone showed up in a boat out on the lake and proceeded to fire tennis balls at the party on shore, powered by an acetylene cannon - basically a hollow tube and ignition chamber. Apparently acteylene is "relatively" unlikely to blow up the guys firing the cannon - but I cannot guarantee it. It's your neck.
For something more mundane, there are a couple of soccer bots that shoot balls along the floor ... one uses a paddle and one uses spinning cylinders ...
http://www.escience.ca/Kids/RENDER/1016/2008/3061/10935.html http://www.escience.ca/Kids/RENDER/1016/2008/3061/11166.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Dan ! Haha, don't worry, we are a bunch of peace loving people. Hehe.

which
we
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
A friend of mine just built a ping-pong ball gun using a golf ball practice putting return device's solenoid and a PVC pipe. (based on an idea from someone in this group). It works great. An RC servo based gripper could pick up your balls.
BRW
On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 20:28:39 +0800, "silencencounter"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Bennet for your suggestions ! I wonder if you have a picture of the machine as we badly need one to refer to....
<Bennet Williams> wrote in message wrote:

which
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll ask him to post a link.
BRW
On Sun, 29 Aug 2004 03:46:17 +0800, "silencencounter"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks alot man !
<Bennet Williams> wrote in message wrote:

autonomous
could
we
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<Bennet Williams> wrote in message

That worked well? Good to hear.
I've changed names and email addresses due to excessive spam. Haven't been in the groups much either, due to excessive work! Anyway, glad to hear that at least one of my suggestions turned out.
+++ Replace "x" with "yahoo" to email me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.