Rapid fire, remote controlled ping pong ball turret


[Andrew] and his brother had some time (and a lot of ping pong balls) on their hands, so they decided to have some fun and built a remote-controlled ping pong ball turret.

Arduino aside, the turret is cheap and easy to build as [Andrew’s] writeup explains. The firing mechanism was constructed using a pair of foam wheels and motors, which is used to launch the ping pong balls much like a baseball pitching machine. The balls are stored above the wheels in a cardboard tube and released by a mechanical flap when triggered.

When [Andrew] is ready to release the turret’s payload, he sends a command to his computer over VNC, which relays the command to the Arduino over a serial connection, triggering the flap. While the control scheme could certainly benefit from direct, wireless phone-to-Arduino communications, it seems to work well enough for [Andrew's] needs.

Check out the video dramatization below to see [Andrew] “surprise” his brother with a hail of ping pong balls after the jump.


  1. Arnuschky says:

    Like the video! Reminds me of this unfortunate remake of “The Jackal” with Bruce Willis. What a crap movie…

  2. McSquid says:

    I really hope that is the actual noise it makes

  3. War_Spigot says:

    Be careful shooting those ping pong balls near the fireplace. They’re made of celluloid

    • torwag says:

      I was thinking the same….

      I remember they burn like hell and create a lot of smoke. My thought was why not putting them on fire ;)

      Or only every 5th of them … as a tracer ;)

  4. randomdude says:

    laaaaaaame… i know i know it’s kind of cool but they should have make it air powered – with high enough pressure it could rip them in half

  5. anybodysguess says:

    Wow. somebodys got waaaaaaaay to much time on their hands.

  6. SARodrigues says:

    I was hoping it looked like the turrets in Portal..

  7. Stan says:

    I would love to harass my cats with this. Great project!

  8. Hirudinea says:

    Cool hack but forget trying to sell it to the army, the Chinese already have a countermeasure.

  9. Reality says:

    Complex? Its an Arduino with some dumb rubber wheels.. Great project for beginners I guess.

  10. daniel says:

    just needs motion tracking…

  11. Malikaii says:

    Great production in that video editing. Good job on the hack too.

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