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College of Engineering Unit: 
Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering
Project Team Member(s): 
Pico Sankari , Christine Zhan and Kenneth Nys
Physical Location at Expo: 
Virtual Only
Project ID: 
Project Description: 

This project centers around the addition of a ball throwing mechanism to an existing robot. The existing robot has been used with children in the past and has various features to encourage interaction. This robot has been developed in and studied by the Social, Haptics, Assistive Robotic, and Embodiment (SHARE) lab run by Dr. Naomi Fitter. Ball throwing is an excellent task to involve children in for several reasons. Fetching a thrown ball engages the child to interact with their environment, provides exercise, and improves hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The ball launcher has been designed and tested by the authors of this paper. The design underwent 3 major iterations and many different minor iterations. The launcher consists of 3D-printed and off-the-shelf parts. These off-the-shelf parts are threaded metal inserts, motors, wiring, servos, bolts,  and electronics to control the motors and servo actuators. The electronics used will be discussed in greater detail later in this report. The printed parts are connected using bolts, threaded inserts, and glue. The launcher can be remotely activated using a Playstation 4 controller. Many different child safety standards were taken into account when designing this device. Pinch points, choking hazards, and other dangers for children were all removed during design. The design has also undergone the necessary stress tests and has successfully been used with children. The final product is a small launcher that is easy to operate and economical to reproduce. The product received very positive feedback from the sponsor and preliminary testing showed that children enjoyed interacting with it.


Industry Sponsor(s): 
  • Naomi Fitter

  • Project Communication Piece(s): 
    PDF icon MIME.118.EXPO poster874.06 KB