I guess that generating movement is harder then keeping a wheel rolling, but in terms of power consumption is it possible to compare the power consumption of a motor for driving wheels to that of a circuit that charges a capacitor and powers a solenoid? Running on high voltage solenoids can be very fast and powerful, and also pneumatic cylinders can be very fast.

Let's say we talk about a 5g ball that is shot at a speed of 10m/s.

Will the preferred motor be different for different weights and speeds? E.g. will an actuator be the choice for heavy and slow situation? Why?

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    $\begingroup$ For reference baseballs weigh 140 g, cricket balls 160 g, and tennis balls weigh 60 g. I imagine those are the most frequently pitched balls. $\endgroup$ – wwarriner Oct 16 '19 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ Something to consider. How complex is a wheel based pitching machine & how complex would such a machine be that used solenoids etc. Simplicity of operation &/or manufacture just might be the deciding factors. $\endgroup$ – Fred Oct 17 '19 at 2:01
  • $\begingroup$ @wwarriner You forgot ping pong balls that weight 2.7g. $\endgroup$ – OMGsh Oct 17 '19 at 6:18
  • $\begingroup$ True! If you need ping pong balls in particular you might work that into your question. Based on the assumption in your question (5 g weight) that might be worth specifying. If not, then its worth thinking about the effort it takes a human to accelerate say a baseball to 80 mph, and what size/cost solenoids would be required. $\endgroup$ – wwarriner Oct 17 '19 at 12:45

Two reasons.

  • The wheels take advantage of release energy of squeezing and compressing the ball. So they don't have to accelerate the ball to its final velocity; it wants to jump out by itself.

  • The turning wheel acts as a flywheel, preserving the angular momentum, reducing power needed to a smaller average.

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    $\begingroup$ Plus, with two drums a different speeds, you can get curve balls. $\endgroup$ – Eric S Oct 19 '19 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Eric Shaun, right. $\endgroup$ – kamran Oct 20 '19 at 4:17

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