Alyssa Danigelis

Snowball Machine Gun Courtesy NASA Engineer

By: Alyssa Danigelis Posted:
This former NASA employee brought his engineering skills to the snowball fight.

Thwap-thwap-thwap-thwap! Ha ha! Yes! That’s the sound of sweet victory for one enterprising uncle who invented a wearable snowball-firing machine.

During a recent wintertime family vacation, engineer Mark Rober had an idea. The former NASA JPL employee noticed that making and throwing snowballs with his hands was really inefficient. And he realized that, as an uncle, he was also getting ganged up on unfairly.

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After a trip to the hardware store and a hand from from his brother, Rober transformed a leaf-blower and some plastic pipe into a “snowball machine gun” that he says can fire 13 snowballs in .5 seconds. That’s got to be Buddy the Elf level.

With this thing he was able to load up to 15 snowballs into the “magazine,” clip it on, and then use the trigger to control airflow for either hard or soft snowball shooting. Rober shared his brother’s detailed building instructions online in this PDF.

Equipped with a bag of loaded magazines, Rober goes on the offensive against his young family members. They’re not helpless, either. They’ve got snowballs at the ready from inside a half-igloo enclosure. One even uses a plastic sled as a shield.

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Ultimately, even the kids get a turn with the machine. “It’s a must have in any self-respecting uncle’s arsenal,” Rober wrote on YouTube. Fortunately nobody seems the worse for wear after all that pelting.

Oh yeah. There were several times growing up in New England when one of these suckers could have seriously turned the tables on older boys who were chucking snowballs packed with ice at me and my friends. You like snow, tough guys? I’ll show you some snow.

via BBC News