As the university is gearing up for homecoming this weekend, the CEAS Robotics Club is also cranking its gears as they prepare to launch t-shirts into the crowd Saturday night. The robotics team has developed a t-shirt shooting cannon which has taken particular favor with UC President Santa Ono who spend last year’s Robotics Night behind the cannon, shooting t-shirts to those in the stands.
The cannon is an original creation from the robotics team under Professor Paul Talaga, PhD, who is spearheading the project.
While last year’s cannon was impressive, the Robotics team has taken things up a notch by creating a second cannon (V2) with the ability to shoot numerous t-shirts back to back.
Professor Talaga explains, “V2’s design started with a group of UC Robotics team members in the spring of 2013 brainstorming ways of making an impressive machine able to deliver many t-shirts in a short amount of time. We settled on a risky, but impressive, Gatling-style gun with a continuous-fed design.”
An additional goal of V2 was to give the students hands-on experience building robots by starting from scratch. Raw aluminum and other parts were ordered in early spring and fabrication commenced.
In order to make sure the second version of the t-shirt shooting device was made accurately, the team tested the first model (V1) to find an optimal size barrel, pressure-chamber, and air pressures to really maximize distance. Talaga explains, “This was critical in order to shoot many t-shirts over a short period of time.”
The UC Robotics Team has worked hard to make sure those t-shirts go far, and the crowd is fired up at the Homecoming game this weekend. The team will continually refine the machine and plans to bring it to many fall sports activities.
Be sure to watch for flying apparel at Saturday night’s game as the cannon shoots off t-shirts with rapid fire!