Water Balloon Making Device W.B.M.D.

Makers: Jake Ketchum, Micheal Yee, Christopher Yee
Mentors: Thomas Myers
Website: https://sites.google.com/site/waterballoonmakingdevice/

The W.M.B.D. is split into two stages. The first is the filling/sealing stage which takes water balloons (mounted onto clips) and then fills them to a specific – configurable – size before “tying” them by spinning them shut. After they have been sealed, the water balloons are sent to the second stage (the launcher), where they are thrown a short distance to a target. Because it was not an original design priority, the launcher is not currently as far along as the rest of the system. However, at the moment our plan is to use a pneumatic piston run off of an air compressor and powered by solenoid valve to provide the push for a simple funnel launcher. The entire system is controlled by Arduino with a combination of touch and IR sensors providing the feedback. We are using a small “battleship pump” (I’m really not sure what else to call it; we are currently borrowing it from one of the Western Warship Combat Club ships). The water balloons are spun by a shallow bowl (into which they fill) that is attached to a small DC motor which the Arduino controlled by way of a relay. The water balloons are pushed from one part of the system to another by servo arms. Though we expect the system to operate primarily without human intervention (except for switching out the clips), we also hope to have an overridable control box so that people can get a chance to interact with and control parts of the system. We intend to bring the entire assembly to Maker Faire along with a target and piping so that we can make the water as much of a closed-circuit as possible. With that said, access to a hose would be very useful (if not absolutely essential).