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Project active
Winter 2021 - Spring 2022

Problem: 

Baseball players cannot practice in the batting cages without a coach or teammate present to feed the baseballs into the pitching machine.

Baseball pitching machine feeder that can release baseballs sequentially for individual practice time.

Solution:

Summary

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The OSU baseball team was looking for methods to practice in the batting cages individually, without needing to wait for a coach or teammate to be avaliable to feed baseballs into the pitching machine. SPD took this problem and created a feeder designed specifically to attach to the OSU baseball pitching machine. The feeder can be mounted and loaded easily with 10 baseballs. Then to start hitting, they only needed to press a

button. The feeder would release a baseball every 5-10 seconds, displaying a light animation before each pitch. This project allows OSU baseball players to practice on their own, gaining valuable flexibility and practice time needed for high level athletes. 

Current Progress

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We currently have a working v1 model of the baseball feeder. It can be activated by pressing the embedded button or remote button. After a button press, it gives time for the player to get ready and then begins to sequentially release baseballs. The time between pitches can be adjusted between 5 and 10 seconds via the potentiometer knob on the housing. If the player does not want to hit all 10 pitches, they can stop early by pressing the button or remote button.

Future Goals

Future versions of the baseball feeder would implement more robust mechanisms to account for extended use and user error. We are considering modifying the gearing system so that baseballs cannot be released when the unit is not powered. Other additions would include adding a fan to prevent overheating and an on/off power switch for user convenience.