Joey Hudy is an eighth grader in Arizona who makes awesome projects. With the help of MAKE magazine, he had the opportunity to show off his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon to President Obama at the White House Science Fair. Not only did he show it, he was able to make a roomful of Secret Service agents mildly uncomfortable by firing the cannon with the President. Joey was nice enough to take some time (after completing his homework, of course) to answer a few questions about being a young maker, visiting the White House, and what's next for him and his air cannon.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
Do you get to make many projects for class?
What would you like to do when you grow up?
I'd like to become an Electrical Engineer and work for MAKE
What is your favorite tool? Favorite website?
Arduino. And my favorite website is Instructables
Tell us a little bit about the build you showed to President Obama. What was it, why did you build it, and how did you end up showing it off in the White House?
My Marshmallow Cannon. Everything that is orange holds the air pressure. The sprinkler valve releases the pressure and shoots the marshmallow. You use a bike pump to pump the air in the cannon. I built it because I was bored. I first had the idea at school with a water bottle and a mechanical pencil. When you squeezed the water bottle it shot out the pencil. I wanted to make a bigger version.
I got to go to the White House Science fair - MAKE chose two kids to go to the science fair. They asked me, then Cognizant (who started Making the Future) sponsored me to go.
What project have you made that you are most proud of?
3x3x3 Led Cube Arduino Shield Kit, Extreme Marshmallow Cannon, an upcoming shield a EL Wire shield
What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve made?
Camera Tazer, but its not lethal. but I want to make a Tesla coil.
What projects do you have in mind for future builds?
EL wire Arduino shield, 555 timer kit with PCB for beginner electronics, & hopefully I will be able to make that Tesla coil.
What’s your opinion on LEGO vs KNEX?
I like LEGOs. KNEX hurt your hands after awhile from snapping the parts together.
Have you ever wanted to make a project that your mom or someone else discouraged you from building? If so, what was it and were you able to make it anyway?
Yes, I wish to make a Tesla coil but my parents won't let me even though I know the danger and how to be safe with it. [I am interested in] a lot of projects that require high voltage.
Do you have any maker heroes?
Mitch Altman, Tyler Moskowite (he works at MAKE), Jacob & Jasper (from Heatsync Labs)
Now some questions specifically about the pneumatic cannon you showed off...
What’s the highest PSI you’ve set that cannon to?
Have you tried any ammunition besides marshmallows? If so, what kind of distance did you get?
I have tried marbles but don't know distance on them. T-shirts shot around 20 ft. I have made my own net and tied the ends to the marshmallow and shot the net out. I also shot confetti and apples.
What are your plans with the cannon now? Modify, upgrade, or move on to another awesome project?
I am going to bring the cannon to Maker Faires. Make different barrels to shoot diffrent things. I also want to make a metal air cannon that can shoot harder and farther.