We knew we were doomed when the T-shirt cannon bots showed up

The newest addition to the Skynet armada is this 10-barrel t-shirt cannon. It’s capable of storming the battlements at over twelve feet per second with a firing rate of three T-shirts per second (ooh, is that cotton?).

The members of Team 254, which is hosted by Bellarmine College Preparatory School, built the robot over the summer. This involved a full production cycle; planning, 3D modelling, acquiring the materials, and finishing the build. All of this is well documented in their build blog and for video, check out their media page.

We already know how to customize the T-shirts for use as ammo, now what this needs is some tank treads.


  1. typhon1126 says:

    These guys are The Cheesy Poofs, a FIRST Robotics Competition team, and they rock!

  2. Marco says:

    That is a pretty amazing creation. The only thing I am missing in the project log are the setbacks and bugs. Don’t tell me that everything just worked as originally designed.

  3. sM10sM20 says:

    Could tell from the image this was a FIRST robotics team. Most teams use a tank drive that looks very similar to this, and I’m pretty sure the wheels are standard kit provided. FIRST is an amazing program, awesome build!

  4. Hirudinea says:

    This could kill a dozen Maude Flandereses!

  5. emilio says:

    neat project! good thing those Bellarmine kids are so well-connected…

  6. Jon says:

    @sM10sM20 – Yep, I chuckled at the ol’ useless wheelchair wheels

  7. Tom says:

    Major design flaw: Does not go around corners with three fixed wheels in a row…

  8. You’ve done a great job. So great to hear that those wheels are useless until you made this. So amazing.

  9. Tom says:

    OK Cindy, since you asked for it:

    In fact, I see nothing good
    in this project.

    This depicts a WEAPON!
    Weapons are made to /kill people/!

    Is there /no way/ these kids could have
    chosen a build project with a peaceful objective?

  10. Soo-Hyun says:

    @Tom: I also dislike six-wheel designs for that reason, but the wheels are slippery enough that the bot turns pretty fast anyway.

    I like the scuba tanks idea. Our team simply uses a 120 psi pneumatic pump coupled with a few gas reservoirs to store the pressurized air, but not only are they slow to pump up to pressure before each shot, but the process saps battery life. With the higher-pressure air from the scuba tanks, we wouldn’t need such big reservoirs.

    Programmer, Team 955

  11. Charles says:

    In these designs, the center wheels are usually lowered by a small amount, forcing it to drive on 4 of the 6 wheels at any given time, improving it’s ability to turn due to the reduced scrub forces.

  12. @Tom – Weapons are not made just to kill people.


    They are also made to DEFEND. Weapons keep you safe. Statistics show that more guns owned in a city DECREASES violent crime because violent criminals are more wary of being SHOT.

    I assume you would have me give up my right to own a gun!

  13. AJG says:

    @Soo-Hyun – I think those wheels are the sticky ones from the 2010 FRC kit of parts. I don’t think they are slippery or that low traction would improve how well it turns. The robot drives like a tank with the right wheels being independent from the left wheels. As far as I know tanks can turn well enough.

  14. Soo-Hyun says:

    Oops, I guess I assumed they were the same slippery kind as those used for Lunacy because they looked similar. Never mind! I am, after all, only a programmer. :)

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