pic: Team Fusion's T-Shirt Shooting Robot


Last year we added a t-shirt cannon to our 2004 robot. We use it to shoot shirts at football games and pep rallies. I thought I would finally upload a picture for you guys.

I love it! Did you buy it or make it? if you bought it i would love to know where? Either way its an amazing idea! :smiley:

If you look at the robot closely… you will see that it is studentwork, simple and fun. Another proof that they built it is, they are using the 2004 kit of part wheels.

Very cool idea Team Fusion. Did you guys ever use it? How well does it work?

I accidentally uploaded the picture on my dad’s name. Oh well …

The t-shirt cannon has been great for getting Fusion’s name out in the community. It is a simple way to get people asking us about our program. It is sad when some nights the crowd at the football games are cheering more for a shirt than for our team. I think we spent less than $50 on the whole setup.

Right now I’m interested in replacing the PVC storage tank on the back of the robot. I think the most pressure we have shot a shirt at is about 80 or 90 psi, and from what I know the PVC should hold up to about 200-250, but I don’t want to take any chances. What do you recommend?

The bot is actually our 2004 competition bot.
I’ll look around to see if we still have the plans.

what a great project for the school. I love it, and i’m sure everyone at football games do too.

Awesome to see a t-shirt cannon set up like that! 45 has had a few but they got dropped and cracked so the are out of commisson. The word on the street is that at the Kokomo ball drop some crazy kids will shoot out some confetti into the crowds…darn kids :ahh:

What are you using as the valve? SCH40 PVC is good up to it’s pressure rating, which should be printed on the tubes, and I think it’s far past 250 psi. The PVC joints are always built stronger than the pvc piping, so as long as you cured/glued the joints correctly, all will be fine.
I always like to put my psi limit depending on the valve, I usually use a normal sprinkler valve, which is good to 120 psi; so I set mine to 100-110 psi and it can shoot stuff far enough for my purposes. If you’re using a ball valve, you could go higher, but at that point I’d be scared, lol. I suppose you could make some type of scatter shield for it.
If you’re having problems shooting the t-shirt high up into the stands, try cramming the shirt down the barrel, hard. You don’t want any air bleeding past the t-shirt.

I always thought it would be cool to shoot hot dogs into the crowd, or shoot the opening pitch of the season’s first baseball game, or shoot beads at a local Mardi Gras parade,or … ahh the endless possibilities.

So simple yet… It’s just so cool. We need to build one! :slight_smile:

We don’t have any problems with getting distance with the shirts. When I shot them I had two different ways of folding the shirt. One would go maybe 10 yards, the other could easily go 40 yards. A couple of times we shot shirts over crowd and into the parking lot. I’ll make sure to get some pictures of the cannon in action after the first football game in a couple of weeks.

The valve is a RainBird in-line irrigation valve. It’s only $16 at Lowe’s.

Actually, the best time we’ve had with the shooter was at one of the football games last year. One of our local radio stations was shooting shirts into the stands and started saying that they could put one higher into the stands than we could. Now, just so you understand, we keep the pressure around 45 - 50 psi as a safety precaution. You don’t want to whack someone in the head too hard if they aren’t looking! I was sitting on the front row of the bleachers and Brandon (bhweezer here on CD) looked over at me and smiled. Then he reached down and cranked the pressure up to about 80 psi. The t-shirt went from the ground, up over about 40 rows of seats, and into the parking lot. The radio guys just walked away in silence.

Just a little background for those interested, this project began on the bus ride home from the 2004 Championships. I asked Team Fusion’s “Big Kahuna” Mr Fava what we were supposed to do now that the season was over. (It was my first year and I didn’t know any better. I’m sorry!) He said he had always wanted to be able to shoot t-shirts as a ‘Get to know Team Fusion’ kind of thing. The rest, as they say, is history.

The shooter is completely remote controlled. We have one if the indicators on the Operator Interface come on to let us know that the tank is full and ready to shoot. Our next little addition is to add a revolving light so people will look our way before we shoot. When we hit the trigger to fire, the light will come on and then a 3-5 second delay before it actually shoots.

It also does a great job shooting croquet balls. You can spend a great afternoon entertaining little kids by lauching the balls 150’ across a clear field and having the kids go chase them!

Looks good, now all you need is an automatic reload.

A t-shirt magazine or revolver! :wink:

An automatic reloader or something like revolver style would be totally awesome. Then you wouldn’t have to be there to do it. Also, you could get a siren to go with that revolving light. :slight_smile:

Also, do you have a video of this thing in action? I find it hard to believe that a shirt can go that far on that little pressure (but then again I have never built one). Maybe it is just a massive volume of air and a fast valve that does the trick?

If you wanted to add more shots the easiest thing to do would be to add more barrels. That would allow you to shoot more than one shirt at a time. But I will agree that a mag feed shirt shooter would be cool, and would add to the challenge. Some issues would be feeding problems due to irregularities in shirt folding and making the breech air tight to prevent a loss in range.

I’m not sure you would want a revolving reloader. You would need a way to maintain pressure. I would do it with a bolt action like on a hunting rifle. The problem with that idea is you need a way to separate the shirts. Maybe give the shirts a casing like wrap them in saran. Keeps them clean aerodynamic and you don’t have to worry about folds! Another thing that would make it easy would make a hatch at the bottom of the tube. Just drop the shirt in close the hatch and shoot. Of course you need to use a lining of some type to prevent leakage and maybe a clamp (like the type used on tool chests) to hold the hatch closed.

I suppose this would definatly be an attention getter and spread the team a little. Jow did you go about getting permission to do it? or did no one really care? Just curious.


Discovery Channel fans may remember the Monster Garage epidose when they made the Delivery Truck. A small air cannon was mounted on the top of the truck and had four rotating barrels. When rotated, the barrels would slide forward; when they were lined up with air valve, they slid backwards a bit onto it making the seal. I can’t find any real good pictures online of it, but here is one that at least shows it:


I will make sure we get some pictures and video after the first football game, but that will not be until the 26th.

All we really did was demonstrate it for our principal a couple of times and then no one had a problem with it.

Did you use the stock KOP air compressor? If not what did you use?

Everything on the robot was from our 2004 competition bot. We used the KOP compressor and left all of the pneumatic parts on the robot. The only significant change we made was we let the electrical team rewire the robot before last years build season.

The only down side to using the KOP compressor is that it takes a couple of minutes to build the pressure up. If we take our time reloading shirts then it isn’t a problem.