What I did notice, however, was that the ball had way too much power directed in the wrong direction - so I do believe that with correct geometry, a backward launcher could also be done with just 1 piston like John's. I know it's not clear what I mean by having a forward launcher geometry flinging backwards instead, but it's late, so I'll let Aaron or Ruiqi explain for me if anybody has questions.
HEXBUG® believes in using the fun of robotic toys to teach kids important STEM principles through hands on learning.The VEX® Robotics Catapult™ feature two alternate builds for more robotic fun! All Catapult's™ construction pieces are compatible with educational VEX® IQ pieces to create your own custom VEX® robot and explore unlimited possibilities.
My 8 year old built it in less than 20 min without my help. I didn’t even know he opened it. I was doing laundry and next thing I knew we had a catapult at the kitchen table. Didn’t ask for help or anything, no extra pieces. Too simple but worth the price I guess. It was one of the cheapest options I could find. With our local team going to worlds competition again he wanted to see what VEX was all about.
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Three teams in my club (mine included) are currently working to perfect our forward intake catapults which we've dubbed our rampapults. So far, none have had much success. The two teams that started working on them a few weeks ago have struggled a bit but I hear they've had some success in making them work over the break. I just got my pneumatics in the mail today so my team hasn't built ours yet but we have it designed and ready to build, so we'll see how it all goes once it's built and running.
My son received this as a birthday present when he was 4 years old. He was able to build most of this himself, with me reading the instructions for him. He loves playing with this and often takes it apart to build the car and different versions. Since then, I have ordered additional sets to give as gifts to his friends who are turning 5-10. This is a great alternative to Lego. This holds together very well and does not fall apart when he or his friends are playing with it.
My 8 year old built it in less than 20 min without my help. I didn’t even know he opened it. I was doing laundry and next thing I knew we had a catapult at the kitchen table. Didn’t ask for help or anything, no extra pieces. Too simple but worth the price I guess. It was one of the cheapest options I could find. With our local team going to worlds competition again he wanted to see what VEX was all about.
My son received this as a birthday present when he was 4 years old. He was able to build most of this himself, with me reading the instructions for him. He loves playing with this and often takes it apart to build the car and different versions. Since then, I have ordered additional sets to give as gifts to his friends who are turning 5-10. This is a great alternative to Lego. This holds together very well and does not fall apart when he or his friends are playing with it. 

Kids can put on their engineering hats and build the Vex Robotics Catapult, which launches plastic balls up to 10 feet. It comes with more than 100 easy-connect snap pieces and two balls. Once the catapult is assembled, turn the knob to bring the bucket of the catapult however far back you want. Use the launching lever to lock the bucket into place once the bucket has reached your desired angle. You can also change the angle at which the ball will fly by adjusting the T-shaped piece in the middle. Once set up, load a ball into the catapult and press down on the lever to launch. You can also drive the catapult around on its real-rolling wheels.

My son received this as a birthday present when he was 4 years old. He was able to build most of this himself, with me reading the instructions for him. He loves playing with this and often takes it apart to build the car and different versions. Since then, I have ordered additional sets to give as gifts to his friends who are turning 5-10. This is a great alternative to Lego. This holds together very well and does not fall apart when he or his friends are playing with it. 

My son received this as a birthday present when he was 4 years old. He was able to build most of this himself, with me reading the instructions for him. He loves playing with this and often takes it apart to build the car and different versions. Since then, I have ordered additional sets to give as gifts to his friends who are turning 5-10. This is a great alternative to Lego. This holds together very well and does not fall apart when he or his friends are playing with it. 

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This construction kit challenges you to not only Build Genius, but also build a fully functional VEX Robotic Catapult at the same time! Explore the technology behind some of the most influential inventions of our culture's Age of Innovation! Inspired by ancient Greek and Roman designs, this modern Catapult has a ratcheting winch that can control the distance projectiles are thrown. Crank the winch to its maximum tension, and you can hurl balls over 10 feet! HEXBUG believes in using the fun of robotic toys to teach kids important STEM principles through hands on learning.The VEX Robotics Catapult feature two alternate builds for more robotic fun! All Catapult's construction pieces are compatible with educational VEX IQ pieces to create your own custom VEX robot and explore unlimited possibilities. Two balls included. Batteries not required. VEX Robotics Catapult is compliant with CPSIA standards.  Caution: Do not aim at eyes or face. To Avoid Injury: Use only projectiles designed for this product. Do not modify projectiles or projectile launcher.
Kids can put on their engineering hats and build the Vex Robotics Catapult, which launches plastic balls up to 10 feet. It comes with more than 100 easy-connect snap pieces and two balls. Once the catapult is assembled, turn the knob to bring the bucket of the catapult however far back you want. Use the launching lever to lock the bucket into place once the bucket has reached your desired angle. You can also change the angle at which the ball will fly by adjusting the T-shaped piece in the middle. Once set up, load a ball into the catapult and press down on the lever to launch. You can also drive the catapult around on its real-rolling wheels.
In addition if someone has a 4/4/2 (four motor drive, four lift, two intake) setup then having 4 tanks on your robot for a backwards catapult is a lot of weight. The tanks aren't light so keeping your robot as lightweight as possible with only four motors on drive is essential. But then again team 1103 in Round Up had a rock solid robot that weighed nearly 20 lbs. (I believe he said this in a video somewhere, don't quote me on it) and had only 4 high speed motors on his drive. Very impressive!
It took us one hour to build this set. It is listed as being a beginner skill level build that can take anywhere from one to two hours to complete, depending on your skill level. The instructions were picture-only instructions and were a little confusing as were the picture directions for how to use the catapult. Also, the knob fell off quite often, but reattaching it was easy. 
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