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Capstone 1

This build is a Phase 3 Capstone design project. The previous two teams developed a specialized baseball launcher to be operated by a quadriplegic client. This device allows the client to coach his son and his baseball team with a series of sensors and switches to launch ground balls, pitches, and pop flies. The goal of Phase 3 is to perfect the design for long term use.

Design Overview

The baseball launcher contains two distinct subassemblies: the aiming mechanism and the launching mechanism. The previous phases attached the machine directly to the client's wheelchair. However, as a result of attachment complications, the Phase 3 project will look to incorporate Bluetooth control to operate the machine from a distance.



The aiming system consists of a linear actuator for vertical movement and a servo motor for rotational / horizontal movement. An inertial measurement unit ( IMU ) is connected to a baseball cap for the client to wear and control the launch angle and direction of the ball by moving his head. Microlight switches are used to control the firing / reloading procedures.


The machine uses an Arduino Mega to process input from the IMU and microlight switches to aim, launch, and reload the baseballs. Motor drivers are used to control the movement of the linear actuator and servo motor. The machine is capable of launching baseballs up to 70 mph, so the Phase 3 team is looking to implement adaptive speed control in the spring.

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