[Grant] was inspired to help his party guests improve their beer pong game. What he created is a fairly impressive contraption, sure to make him unstoppable in his next bout.
The device uses a gyroscope and a time-of-flight sensor to calculate the optimum trajectory for the ping pong ball. The user is guided to the correct launching position using two bubble levels and a series of indicator LEDs that turn green when the optimal position is reached.
The launching mechanism uses a servo motor to push the ball into the circular wheel machine which then propels the ping pong ball to its target. The circular wheel machine is powered by two DC motors whose speeds are determined by the distance from the target. [Grant] calibrated the DC motor speed to the distance from the target and found a pretty reproducible relationship favoring a cube root function. You can see his calibration data on his Instructable page as well as a cool demo video showing how the device automatically adjusts motor speed to distance from the target.
We should combine the PongMate with the Auto-Bartender we wrote about a few weeks ago. What are your favorite beverage hacks? Please share in the comments below.