Electronic feeder mechanism

I am currently building a pitching machine (I'm trying to do it for less than $150) and I'm having trouble designing an electronic feeder mechanism that will advance one ball at a time. I thought about cannibalizing a cheap R/C car for a transmitter, receiver, and servo but I'm not sure that will be strong enough to move the prongs when they are under a load. I only have $50 left to stay under budget (I already have all the support materials and the motor/wheel) and I have very little experience with electronic components.

It seems to me that a R/C solenoid should do the trick with springs on the prongs to return them to the staring position but my brother tells me that $50 is an unreasonable budget. I really want to get this figured out on the cheap so I can show my brother (the electrical engineer) that it can be done!

Picture of Electronic feeder mechanism
NachoMahma6 years ago
. Have you tried using the solenoids used for car door locks? They may have enough force and used ones should be very cheap.
That's a good idea, and since it appears that the mechanism moves in a synchronized fashion, i.e. all levers / shelves move left and right at the same time), a single actuator should be sufficient, simplifying the design.