Feature: The Ponginator – A Robotic Combination of King Kong and Ping Pong

By Brian Boyko
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

Ponginator is a robot, and as far as robots go, this one is fairly simple. It plays music, says a few words cribbed from audio files, and shoots ping-pong balls from pressurized air guns.

We’ve been doing a series on crazy inventors with crazy inventions. Vernon Graner and the creation he built with the Austin Robot Group, Ponginator, certainly qualify as crazy.

Of course, what makes Ponginator different is that Ponginator is three stories tall.

A Parallax stamp-based microcontroller in a computer behind the robot controls the robot’s ping-pong balls, which leave the barrel at 170 miles per hour.

We speak with Vernon Graner, one of the inventors of Ponginator, in this next video.

The robot was built to promote the Robot Group and to get people asking questions about robotics in general. If you’re in the Austin area, and think building your own multi-story monstrosity of pingy, pongy death is right up your alley, check out The Robot Group’s site.

They’re the people you want to talk to if you are going to “try this at home.” Otherwise, don’t try this at home.

If you’d like to see the video in full HD resolution, just hit this link, which will take you to the video’s high-def page on YouTube.

Other installments of Crazy Inventions and Crazy Inventors:

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