Version 2 seemed to be working pretty well, but I was not comfortable leaving it unattended because it lacked proper guarding and I did not think my original guarding plan would be sufficient given the amount of movement (rotation & trajectory).
So I decided a new version was needed and made my upgrade feature list:
- Redesigned with guarding in mind. Minimize access and pinch points.
- Dedicated electronics & battery mounting.
- Proximity sensor to detect people standing directly in the shuttle path.
- Through-beam IR sensor to detect shuttle run-out.
- Radical user interface redesign.
- Carrying handle.
- Nicer form factor.
It's this build that I am working on right now. I've completed a preliminary mechanical build and completed a good portion of the user interface redesign. I still have to rewrite the firmware before I can even start testing.
Once it's running that will just be the start as no versions of the launcher have even been on a court. I'll need to calibrate and test precision and reliability. I've already identified problems that have to be addressed on the next version and I'm sure testing will find many more.
There is a long way to go to get this finished, documented, and shared, but I'm really excited to be sharing it with everyone. I'm also thrilled to see it looking like a real product!