Pedal Powered Tennis Ball Launcher




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

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:



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    54 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

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


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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??

    1 reply

    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?

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

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.