You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out With This Laser-filled Tennis Ball


We love lasers, you love lasers…who doesn’t love them?

[Matt Leone] recently took his passion for lasers over the top and built a little something called the Laser Ball. Fed up with the deluge of of LED cubes floating around online, he says that the Laser Ball is the new sheriff in town – and we’re inclined to agree.

He bored a bunch of holes in a standard tennis ball, and fitted it with 14 red laser diodes. Before he installed the lasers into the ball he modified each with a small bit of diffraction grating to liven up the display. The lasers were connected to a Teensy micro controller, which was stuffed inside the ball along with a small rechargeable LiPo battery.

While the laser ball was pretty awesome already, [Matt] decided that it wasn’t finished just yet. Using an IR remote package from Adafruit, he added the ability to trigger the Laser Ball’s light patterns from afar. You know, just for kicks.

Be sure to check out the video below to see the Laser Ball in action!

via BuildLounge


48 thoughts on “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out With This Laser-filled Tennis Ball

    1. Laser Ball(tm) requires parental supervision.
      Always wear eye protection while enjoying your Laser Ball(tm)
      Keep Laser Ball(tm) away from children, pets, and those sensitive to lasers.
      Do not look directly at Laser Ball(tm)

  1. Ugh. Another *-“Labs” person. Labratory? Really? What are you people doing besides what the manufacturers of the consumer-grade products you bought expect you to?

    Come off it.

    Also, while <1mw (I assume they're <1mw) is really low-power, This isn't as smart as you think it is.

    1. Finally, a fun project to do with the 12 unopened laser pointers I have left from the 36 I bought ages ago from DealExtreme. The diodes+lenses from them are easily removable for other uses.

    2. Ugh, some people and their ideals.

      The “xLab(s)” people arent usually affiliated with “real” labs sure, but the people who are probably aren’t allowed to say so unless they work for a super cool company. An easy distinction for the OCD in you.

      Since we’re on the subject, can hackerspaces count as labs? If so I could be an i3 lab tech if I spent any time there

  2. Much awesome packed into a little ball. Great video as well, especially liked the “oh no” moment with the re-solder. Touching back to the first post, is there a concern about eye safety?

  3. Great documentation. Those songs fit it perfectly, I especially like when the slow, depressing part of the music coincided with the wire mishap. I think this could be marketed and sold at laser light shows. They could toss it around the crowd.

  4. that is SO darwin, lolz 50 bucks says poster cant post replys in the next few days… or ever read a computer again.

    AKA: unfair weapon, espically if laser power is upped… and by weapon i mean a blind man is a dead man in war… when real guns are also involved


  5. Thanks for all the comments everyone!

    The Laser Ball has passed all my laser safety tests with flying colors!… :) And just in case you were wondering both my retinas are still in good working order.

    @cdilla – a flying Laser Ball?!… I like it!

  6. Bad ass idea! I wouldn’t be able to put this thing down. I’d probably end up chain smoking way to many cigs for the “smoke fx” haha!

    Awesome man, great job. This looks like a blast.

  7. Great job on the project, and very nice work time compressing the video too. This looks like something we’d see Hollywood using, great for special effects. And if you hang one from a small helium balloon using a black thread and let it float over a housing tract at night I wonder how many UFO reports it would generate?!

  8. For everyone worried about blindness, couldn’t just unfocus the laser a bit? Also, wouldn’t this still be pretty impressive as a LED ball? RGB LEDs and juggling would look pretty rad!

    I’ve got some soldering to do.

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