Farting Baseball; From The Makers Of Self-Solving Rubik’s Cube

Some hackers have a style all their own that is immediately recognizable from one project to the next. For instance, you can tell a [Takashi Kaburagi] by its insides. The behavior of his Farting Baseball project (machine translation) is amusing, but the joke is only skin deep. Look inside and you’ll gain a huge appreciation for what has been done here. It’s not as mind-boggling as his work on the self-solving Rubiks cube robot, but the creativity and design constraints are similarly impressive.

Clever detail is the square of soft material used to cushion impact

This whimsical project is a curve ball no matter who throws it. While in flight, a jet of compressed gas can alter the trajectory at the press of a button. Inside is a small pressure vessel that is filled with HFC134A refrigerant commonly used on gas blowback pistols. It’s a non-combustible that lies in wait until a solenoid is activated to release the pressure in a powerful jet. The ball carries a CR2032 to power the wireless link for activation, but that solenoid needs more juice so capacitors are charged for this purpose.

It’s worth digging through the details on this one, including the article on measuring discharge time (machine translation). There are numerous nice touches, like the yellow Whoopee Cushion neck that directs the jet, the capacitor discharge materials so there is not an accidental activation when not in use, and clever and clean construction that make everything fit.

Another hacker with an equally iconic style is [Mohit Bhoite]’s work; make his flywire sculptures your next stop.

12 thoughts on “Farting Baseball; From The Makers Of Self-Solving Rubik’s Cube

      1. Add one of the small circuits you find in joke shocking pens, they run on a coin cell and should have enough voltage to ignite the aerosol. Flame throwing baseball. (:

        Maybe have a ball with six jets of CO² and add a gyro so you can have a self steering ball.

    1. +1
      The project is impressive but please, don’t release any nasty gas (for the climate change) without a really good reason, even if it’s only a few gramms. Can’t he just use compressed air, N2 or at least CO2?

      1. I wholeheartedly agree with the whole “do not release gasses with GWP over 1000 into the air, ever” sentiment! That being said, neither of the replacements you mention are comparable as far as the simplicity of build (pressure) and amount of produced gas per gram are concerned.
        This thing is a bit like a dragster car – it does one thing extremely well and you can forget about anything else (including the environment). And it’s that way of thinking that got us in this mess in the first place.

  1. I’m still trying to figure out why airsoft guns use HFC134A instead of the massively cheaper, more available, more powerful and safer CO2. It doesn’t appear to be a regional thing either. Paintball, Pellet guns, Carbonated beverages, Bicycle inflators, etc all use it in various cartridge sizes.

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