Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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semi-smart-water-balloons

Computer controlled water-balloon launch system
 
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Water-balloon targets more than a few dozen meters away require great skill to hit with consistency. Because such skill is lacking in the populace at large, surely a computer controlled water-balloon launch system would be widely welcomed. Here's a possible implementation: The user would attach two water balloons to the periphery of a hand-cranked wheel. The balloons would be opposite, for balance. Each balloon is attached via an electromagnet-controlled clip. The gear ratio between hand-crank and wheel is high enough, and the wheel size large enough, to deliver enough energy to get the balloons to targets within some design range. On each side of the wheel are two sighting telescopes, via which two assistants keep the target in view and the wheel aimed at the target. This allows the computer to determine target altitude and distance. To hit the target, there are two possible release instants per revolution, corresponding to two different parabolic trajectories. For example, you could instruct the computer to send one balloon on a "line drive" trajectory, and the other on a high lob trajectory, adding an element of surprise to the attack.
jwpat7, Nov 22 2009

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