Introduction: Pedal Powered Tennis Ball Launcher

Both cleanly powered and built from 2 recycled bicycles, scrap steel and wood, leaking 5 gallon water jug and a lacross stick, our pedal powered tennis ball launcher was created as a unique entry for the innovate or die pedal powered machine contest.
It allows players varying in skill levels to practice to be better at both tennis and cycling. The launcher is towed to the court on its built-in bicycle trailer. A bike is secured to it and functions to drive the device. Pedaling the cycle as one would on a trainer drives the two launcher wheels. The cyclist then aims using the bike handlebars to and pulls the lever to launch balls to the hitter.

Check out the High Speed Videos (Slow Motion) at 300fps and 600fps of the launcher in action, and other information about the launcher and it's construction:

Construction Detail Video:


gmendez3 (author)2015-01-14

hahaha amazing Bikemachine! It´s so smart!

Blaise_Gauba (author)2011-10-30

Ingenious! Very impressive!

urchit (author)2011-09-09

meraviglioso very very good

fozzy13 (author)2011-09-08

Awesome idea, and great video!

deqwer (author)2011-08-11

This is great can you post a instructables?

rocketman221 (author)2011-08-10

Damn metacafe won't let me watch the video. Could you upload the video file to instructables or something.

mfarnawany (author)2008-09-14

WOuld it be possible to post 4 closer up pictures? I was interested in trying to build this. 1. Top Down - Real Wheel of Bike over Drive train 2. Side Shot - From the Outside, Two Wheels doing the launching 3. Inside Shot - Inside Show w/out attached bike of the same 4. Any Shot - SOme kind of shot of the Water Jug ball feed apparatus. Don't know if I can build it, but wouldn't mind trying. Thanks

engineerable (author)mfarnawany2008-09-17

Thanks for the interest! I will be posting better pictures and closeup video on my website soon, and I will let you know.

what is your website?

Kalipa (author)2010-12-17

It's really awesome and clever, but, if you have a person that can manpower the machine, why not just have him throw the balls back at you??

ALogan97 (author)Kalipa2011-04-22

what if they don't have hands?

controlfreak04 (author)2010-09-22

hy there, honestly your work is awesome! there are some questions...

1)how do you attach the lever with the cycle?
2)what material that makes the tennis ball injected one at a time?

northcoastnomad (author)2009-07-13

Bravo my friend, this is truly a work of geniousness.
By the way, have you come up with an official name for this mechanism?

bassclarinet23 (author)2009-07-13

Awesome! Do you think it is possible to make one strong enough to launch softballs?

Illamadi (author)2009-06-19

Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a rugby ball launcher and what mechanism to use in order to propell it ?

Martian925 (author)2009-05-22

Although kind of Rube-Goldberg-ish and useless (why not just bring another racquet and hit the balls to your partner?!), very clever engineering and cool video.

thepaul93 (author)2009-04-09

very nice

killerkorn (author)2009-03-25

thats awesome. and yea instructables can be quite easy to make and dont take that long to make so you should try posting up how to make one of these AMAZING contraptions.

pfdanielson (author)2009-03-12 i want to make one

kibbler (author)2008-12-13

That is boss!

Redgerr (author)kibbler2009-03-12

totaly :]

sory24712 (author)2008-12-13

how do u build that u should post a instructable i would love!!!! to build this

Samsquanch (author)2008-11-11

I'm floored that is friggin' brilliant idea. You have to post the instructions on how to build that.

djabby (author)2008-08-31

You are a genius, your buddy needs a lot of practice on his return of serve. ;-) Good stuff dude!

tron1o7 (author)2008-08-13

That is really cool im just sad because theres no instructions on how to make it.

nf_x20 (author)2008-08-06

aw too bad there are no directions on how to make this

Nkevin90 (author)2008-06-26


Katie27 (author)2008-06-23

That's very interesting how you came up with this!

finfan7 (author)2008-06-18

this isn't an instructable... but it is cool. I am torn.

Aar000n3y (author)finfan72008-06-18

No, it's not an instructable. It's a video. Videos on Instructables show off a project, it doesn't have to describe how to make it.

finfan7 (author)Aar000n3y2008-06-20

Things like this remind me of my desire for a so that people could separate their demos from their instructions.

baken411 (author)2008-06-18

nicely thought out and on a trailer too it's kind of weird though, the original inventor of the tennis ball launcher lives two houses up from me. lol

engineerable (author)baken4112008-06-19

Awesome! I didn't think the tennis ball launcher was that recent an invention. You should show them this video, I would be honored!

Plasmana (author)2008-06-19

Wow! I really like that tennis ball launcher! What a green way of shooting the balls and you get exercise too! 5/5 raring :-)

Thornburg (author)2008-06-18

This is a great Instructable, great video.

Thornburg (author)Thornburg2008-06-18

Although I really just meant great video, because this really isn't an Instructable. Not trying to pick on you or anything.

shooby (author)2008-06-18

While this doesn't give a good idea at all of how to build it, the concept is amazing, and the whole thing looks really well engineered. Awesome.

engineerable (author)shooby2008-06-18

This was originally created for a pedal powered machine contest, so unfortunately I didn't take the time to document the build process. The mechanics are simple, but the construction was very involved. Thanks, I love engineering cool stuff.

andrew_29 (author)engineerable2008-06-18

nice bike cool instructable too

4airtime (author)2008-06-18

try hooking the velcro strap to the rear of the front tire, behind the steering axis. This should give you currect steering of the ball. May have to shorten the cable, it's hard to see the mechanism in the video... Great idea!!!

darkmuskrat (author)2008-06-18

You showed it-ill tell you, its "Cool"
***** 5/5

rimar2000 (author)2008-06-18

Very good work, congratulatios,

laminterious (author)2008-06-18

Very cool!

Brennn10 (author)2008-06-18

This is great! Absolutely impressive. Nice work.

Doveman (author)2008-06-18


Bran (author)2008-06-18

Awesome! Definitely should be an iBle on this!

hay_jumper (author)2008-06-18

Neat. Now if you can modify this to shoot hotdogs, I will stand up and applaud.

Weissensteinburg (author)2008-06-18

That's amazing! I love how easily you can change the direction of the balls.

The direction control works really well. You just have to remember that it is reversed from the bike steering.

About This Instructable




Bio: Daniel Bauen breathes new life into objects that have met their untimely demise in the junk pile.
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