This mechanism slowly spins up a heavy flywheel and then puts it in contact with the ground, launching it at speeds up to 12 feet per second.
- It is very important that all the gearing moves freely.
- Where you see red and blue beams in the picture, use beams you don't care about, because the friction will wear noticeable marks in their ends.
- The flywheel consists of four large wheels on a 12-stud shaft, with an 8-tooth gear and two small bushings on each end.
- The large gears spin backwards, pulling the flywheel back against the red and blue bricks while rotating it forwards.
- The shaft in the middle makes sure that the two sides run at the same speed; the universal joint is to reduce the effects of the baseplate flexing.
- The only reason for the unbalanced structure is that I didn't then have four motors.
- That almost-blank picture: I was trying to catch it in motion, but...
The NQC program for controlling the launcher. It is designed to work with the Mindstorms remote control. Download, run, and:
- Send message 1 to spin up and release.
- Send message 2 to spin up and wait for message 3 before releasing.
Sound of the flywheel spinning up and launching (AIFF file). This is not a very good recording, but you can hear generally what it sounds like.