Snowball Machine Gun

[Mark Rober] is an uncle to three nieces and nephews, and when there is snow on the ground he faces the relentless onslaught of three elite juvenile snowball aces. Lesser men would face the fact that they are over the hill when it comes to snow-based combat, but not [Mark]. He has brought technology to his aid, and with the help of his brother created a snowball machine gun capable of firing 13 snowballs at the unruly youths in half a second.

Power for his creation comes from a leaf blower, and the gun itself is made from ABS pipe fixed onto the blower outlet. Magazines made from pipe with its top section cut away are loaded via a 45 degree junction fitting, and the rate of fire is set by how fast the operator pushes the line of snowballs with a wooden block. He has made full build instructions available as a PDF, so assuming you are reading this in a part of the world where it snows, what are you waiting for! Those of us who live in paces where it rarely snows and what snow we get is wet and slushy can only look on with envy.

The video below has the full story, complete with gratuitous destruction of fruit, youngsters cowering in their snow forts, and finally [Mark] receiving his snowy comeuppance.

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Don’t Shovel Snow; Build an Epic Melt System!

When [Ronald Walters] was building a new house, he decided he didn’t want to shovel snow anymore. So he built a snow melt system under his new driveway. He knew the system would be expensive to operate, but he reasoned it was cheaper than back surgery and much cheaper than having a heart attack.

The system uses PEX pipe on rebar and insulation that is all set down before the concrete in the driveway. An instant-on water heater produces the heat that melts the snow and ice off [Ronald’s] driveway with no shoveling required. The working fluid includes anti-freeze, of course, and there is a set of pumps, flow valves, and flow meters to keep everything flowing when the system is in operation.

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A Tricycle built for Plowing

What do you get when you combine two bikes, a couple levers, and a home made wooden shovel? Why, a light duty tricycle plow, of course! [Craig] of Firefly Workshop cobbled together this contraption to assist him in shoveling his 90′ driveway when a few inches fall. More convenient than a normal shovel, and much more environmentally friendly than his 8 Horsepower snow blower, this trike looks like it could actually make shoveling the snow fun. Not really much more here than meets the eye, we just wish we had a video to share of this sweet ride in action.

Fake Christmas tree makes it fake snow

Let it snow inside your house this Christmas by building your own snow making tree. [Trey] was inspired by a snowing lamp-post he came across in a story. He looked around the house and came up with all the stuff necessary to make this happen with a Christmas tree. The snow is loose Styrofoam like you’d find in a bean bag chair. At the bottom of the tree there’s an inverted umbrella to collect the snowfall and funnel it into a blower salvaged from an inflatable Halloween yard ornament. The blower shoots the Styrofoam up through a PVC pipe, which also serves as the trunk of the fake tree, and it erupts from the top bringing Christmas cheer to an otherwise quiet room. See for yourself.

Snow blower robot

For those of us who are stuck in the middle of a cold and snowy winter, this project will seem like a stroke of genius. [Jimmy Bui] has put together this robotic pushing platform. While it is seen in the video (on the linked page) pushing a snow blower, it seems to be simply bolted on. This means it could push pretty much anything, such as a lawn mower. The platform itself looks like a common layout. He’s using the base of a motorized wheel chair, and some scavenged bits to protect the circuitry.  He says that he built it after seeing elderly people having a hard time shoveling their driveways in his neighborhood.  They don’t say if he loans it out to them now, but we suspect that he does.

[via Robots Dreams]

Fake snow from an Arduino

The team at [Sosolimited] was contracted to create an interesting holiday window dispay for the HBO retail store in NYC. The Times Square display encorporates a board of LEDs and a machine for blowing the artificial snow particles around the enclosure.

The code for controlling the LED array was written on top of the open source C++ toolkit, openFrameworks and the entire setup is interfaced through an Arduino Duelmilanove. Multiple Sharp IR sensors were hooked up to the Arduino in order to detect the movement of observers, which in turn triggers fans to blow the ‘snow’ around. A National Control Devices relay board connects the heavy duty fans to the Arduino. This video demo shows just how attractive the project is in motion.

Robot that shovels snow automatically

Those of you that live in snowier climates will drool over the I-Shovel, a battery powered robot that shovels the snow off your driveway, saving you countless hours of backbreaking labor over the course of a single winter. Its inventors claim that, despite its relatively underpowered motor, it keeps the driveway clear even in heavy snowfall; the trick, apparently, is that the robot constantly monitors the amount of snow on the driveway and springs into action whenever a significant but manageable layer has built up. Unfortunately, the I-Shovel is still a prototype, but with any luck you’ll be able to actually buy one soon. If you’re impatient, of course, you could always try building your own.

[via Toolmonger]