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.
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.
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! This cool construction set teaches kids important lessons about variable shot power and how machines store kinetic energy. Includes more than 100 easy-snap pieces, 2 balls, and instructions for 2 alternative builds. 

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.
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! This cool construction set teaches kids important lessons about variable shot power and how machines store kinetic energy. Includes more than 100 easy-snap pieces, 2 balls, and instructions for 2 alternative builds.
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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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.
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.
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