Introduction: Arduino Paper Airplane Shooting Gauntlet

Name/Class: 9A Augustin 龍立鳴


This is a guide to making a gauntlet which shoots paper airplanes added with LEDs and a speaker for extra effect.(The Arduino works without the effects as well) The contraption is easy in terms of code, but a bit complicated to make. And because I only made this once with cardboard and tape, the gauntlet isn’t as consistent and doesn’t look that professional. But given the time and resources, this could be easily done with 3d printing and laser cutting. The circuit is very simple, the input of the PushButton starts the procedure of turning on the LEDs and speaker and finally the servo which releases the rubberband, shooting the paper airplane.

Paper airplane:

The gauntlet works with any sort of plane, but in my case, I used this one: If you want to use the airplane multiple times, adding a piece of cardboard or any other light materials as long as the plane and sticking it in the middle of the plane can give it more integrity.

Code and Explanations:

Click Here For Code!

As I said previously, the code is very simple. The first few lines before the setup make sure the board includes servo functions needed for the servo. The setup sets the button as the only input and the LEDs, Servo, and speaker as the output, and makes sure the servo is at 0 degrees at the beginning. The loop is an IF statement where if the button at pin 3 sends a signal, the loop will do the following. And the loop is cut into 5 main steps, each separated by a 500ms delay.

The 1st part turns on the first two LEDs on each side of the gauntlet and makes the speaker make a sound at 500 Hz, ending with a 500ms delay which brings us to the second step.

The 2nd and 3rd step do the same but just turn on the next pair of LEDs and turns up the speaker’s frequency to 650 and 800 Hz. On the 4th step, the speaker’s frequency is increased to 1300 Hz (but for only half a second so it turns off after the servo releases the plane) and the servo is set to 60 degrees, releasing the rubber band and shooting the paper airplane.

And the last step resets the gauntlet by turning off all 6 LEDs and setting the servo to 0 degrees again.


  • 1 Arduino Board (in my case, an Arduino Leonardo)
  • 1 Portable Power Bank
  • 1 Breadboard (could use other forms for wiring)
  • 6 82ohm Resistors
  • 1 10k ohm Resistor
  • 1 PushButton
  • 1 Arduino Speaker 6 LEDs (in my case, red ones)
  • 1 micro USB cable (the shorter the better)
  • 1 Arduino Servo
  • 1 Big Piece of CardBoard (ideally at least 30cm wide and 50cm long)
  • Adequate Amount of wires (in my case, 14 Male-Male Jumper wires and 7 Male-Female Extension Wires)
  • Tape
  • 1 Pair of Scissors

Step 1: Steps for Building the Gauntlet

  1. Start with the catapulting system first. All sizes in the gauntlet can be changed, but I will list the lengths I used. Use three pieces of long cardboard, each 30cm long but one of them is 2.5 cm long and the other two are 4 cm long. Put them beside each other and have the slimmer one in the middle and pushed down by 2 cm (this space is the channel where the plane will sit).

Step 2:

After you stick them together, cut a small ditch 24 cm down the right side of the rail and stick the servo beside that ditch. And stick a rubber band to the front of the system. Then, stick the whole system on a plate 30cm long and 5cm wide plate and fill the indents on the sides with another two 20 cm long 2 cm wide plates on each side.

Step 3:

Then, make the actual structure of the gauntlet by cutting 4 long pieces of cardboard, 26 cm long (this made for my arm size which is relatively small, consider making it a lot wider and longer to fit yours) and 2 of them 10cm wide and the other two 6cm wide.

Step 4:

Position the four pieces where the wide ones are surrounded by the narrow ones so the wide ones will be opposite to each other and stick the front together with no space between them. Then stick the ends together but with a half a centimeter gap between each of the pieces so the end is wider than the front(which fits our arms better).

Step 5:

After the main structure is finished, cut a piece of cardboard 10cm long and 13 cm wide(how wide it depends on the width of your push button). Create a cylinder and put the push button on one side of it. Take the wires of the button out the other side. Then, cut a 10 cm wide and 18 cm long piece and cut 2 trapezoids at opposite sides as shown in the picture. Cut a hole on one side and stick the cylinder through it on the side where the cables are. Adding something like a wooden chopstick could help the cardboard maintain more integrity.

Step 6:

Now stick the catapulting system on the top of the gauntlet on a wide piece and stick the button structure to the right side(assuming you right handed) of the gauntlet on a narrower piece.

Step 7:

Now stick your Arduino board on the bottom of the gauntlet on a narrow piece around 5 cm down and stick the breadboard on the left side of the gauntlet. After this is done, make the circuit shown above.

Circuit file:

Step 8:

Before you end the circuit, cut two long pieces of cardboard 20 cm long and 5 cm wide and poke three holes at 4,7, and 10 cm from the end on each and stick the LEDs through them. After connecting the LEDs to the circuit, stick the two pieces on the sides of the catapulting system to form a triangular shape shown below. After that's done, cut a piece of 5 cm wide and 6 cm long. Poke a hole in the middle and stick your speaker to the back of the hole (my hole had a 2 cm diameter to fit my speaker). Stick the piece with the speaker on the left side of the catapulting system like the 2 pieces above to form a sort of triangle and connect the wires of the speaker to the circuit as well.

Step 9:

Finally, cut a piece 20 cm wide and 9 cm long to hold the power bank in place (the dimensions of this piece depends on the size of your power bank). Make two folds at 7 and 14 cm to divide the piece into 7, 6, and 7 cm. Stick the piece to the end of the gauntlet on the bottom piece with 3 cm verticle space remaining to put the power bank.(see pictures above) Then, cut a long piece of 7 cm and fold it at 2 cm and 5cm to divide it into 2, 3, 2 cm. Stick one side of the piece to the bottom of the previous piece to create a sort of hatch so you can take the power bank out and put it in. (again, see pictures above)

Step 10: Final Product

After all of that is done, put your power bank into the small compartment you just made and connect power to the board with a micro USB cable and your set! Here are some of the pictures and videos of the final product.