Christmas Catapult Contest

As we enter the holiday season, we wanted to bring some lighthearted joy to our customers and vendors and put their creativity to the test. We are inviting everyone to participate in a Christmas Catapult Contest, where each person designs a modern catapult (ideally using some Morrell Group components) that would launch snowballs in an epic snowball fight. Now, it's not all fun and games...there are prizes to be won!

Morrell Group employees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite catapult design and the winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Morrell Group will also make a $100 donation in the winner's name to their selected charity.

Enter your submission by Monday, January 4. The winner will be announced on Friday, January 8.

Learn more about the contest details below!

Christmas Catapult Contest Rules

  • Each person is limited to one submission, which can be made in the form below
  • Please include your name, company name and a description of how your catapult works in your submission
  • Please submit either a JPG, PNG, GIF or PDF
  • Enter your submission by 12 pm EST on Monday, January 4
  • The winner will select one of six pre-selected charities to receive a $100 donation in their name: Alzheimer's Association, American Heart Association, American Heart Association, St. Jude Children Research Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, or NFPA Pascal Society. To learn more about these organizations, please review our charity overview document here.
  • Have fun!

Submissions from our Internal Christmas Catapult Contest

Earlier this year we held the same Christmas Catapult Contest internally for all Morrell Group employees to participate. Check out their submissions and descriptions for some inspiration!

From Right to Left - 1) Rexroth Gantry with numatics gripper with snow shovel picks up snow and place pile on Rexroth conveyor (Sick Bulkscan to determine snow pile). 2) Snow pile on Rexroth conveyor index into hydraulic press to form snowballs. Sick trispector inspects snowball for perfection. 3) Rexroth Gantry with numatics gripper picks up snowball and place on catapult 4) Bosch extrusion catapult with aventics cylinder launches snowball on feedback from sick distance sensor to Neighborhood kid. Submission by Jim Dougherty

The Semi Autonomous Pneumatic Snowball Catapult is a hydrostatically propelled winter tactical vehicle utilizing integrated controls for both navigation and targeting. Hydraulic motors and cylinders are controlled via electronic control modules with integrated GPS. The catapult is powered by a diesel engine which is cooled by a hydraulically driven combination cooler. A water tank, water filtration, chiller, compressor, and generator make production of snowballs possible. The Snowball Catapult discharge is powered by a pneumatic compressor from Vanair (Morrell Customer) and the pneumatic discharge is controlled by pneumatic directional control valves. Electrical power is provide by a hydraulically driven generator from Nartron (Morrell Customer). Submission by Kevin Kegarise

When the Catapult is in position and all Sick Safety gates are secure, the Sick Photo cells will send an all clear "safe to fire" signal to the Bosch PLC allowing it to fire an output to the Exlar roller screw releasing the swing arm, which rolls with precision in the KTR couplings, the catapult arm after firing slows to a stop with the use of the Bosch motion control system the modules bleeding off the access energy meanwhile the competitions products (ammo) fall like rain on to the target. A Sick Vision system then does a BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment) and sends a report thru the Murr communication cables to the Bosch PLC which reloads for another shot or proceeds to the next target via the AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) program written by Stegner Engineers. Submission by Raymond Poston

The “ Snweet 16 Snow Machine” The Snweet operates on a basic principle. Bombard the living Shweet out of the enemy with as many snowballs you can fit in the net. The Net is attached to a pivot on the end and it's moved up quickly with its connection to the MKR25-110 belt module that can be accelerated to up to 5m/s very quickly. The Sweet 16 Profiled Rail System guides the net up as the MKR Belt Module Activates. The MKR25-110 Belt module has its own Sweet 16 rail and block built into its integral extrusion. The MS2N10 Motor will provide enough torque and speed to launch a pile of snowballs. Extra features can be added if you have the cash: 1) Snweetek Laser: Sick laser guidance and GPS location tracking. 2) Snweetek Safety: Safe Motion from Bosch Rexroth Indramat so nobody gets hurt. 3) Snweetek Lockout: Euchner User RFID Key so enemies can not operate 4) Snweetek Indicator: Sick snowball presence indicator. Submission by Shawn Stearn

The Morrell Autonomous Catapult is a completely autonomous snowball making and launching machine! It drives around using (4) Bosch Rexroth motors with (4) Apex gearboxes controlled by (4) Bosch Rexroth drives inside a Stegner panel. It has (4) SICK area scanners on the four corners of the vehicle to prevent bumping into trees, cars, and people. That’s great, but how does it work?! The catapult drops down to the ground level using an Aventics pneumatic rodless cylinder and moves in reverse to pack a snowball in the catapult’s snowball shaped launcher. After a sensor verifies the catapult is full of snow, the vehicle drives forward 1-2 feet to create space between the catapult and the snow packing area. The brakes on the (4) motors engage to prevent the vehicle from moving during launch. After locking the brakes, there is another Bosch Rexroth motor that is attached to a cone drive gearbox that allows the catapult to launch a snowball. If you buy 10 of these, you’ll never lose a snowball fight! Submission by Tim Jacque

The BRC motor/gearbox rotates the Throwing Arm back until the Sick sensor indicates that it is in the cocked position, which is then secured by the Aventics hydraulic cylinder and shot pin. The snow boulder is compressed and formed by 2 Aventic Numatic cylinders and is transported in the load position by the BR Conveyor transport system. The Sick position sensors indicate IN-POSITION to the conveyor. The Exlar-driven Conveyor Lift Table adjusts to match the boulder’s height to the Trebuchet Sling, and an Aventics hydraulic cylinder pushes to load the boulder into the Sling. With the Sick Perimeter Light Curtain engaged and the BRC servo system inhibited, the Trebuchet is Locked and loaded. Upon command, the Sytronix-powered hydraulic cylinder and shot pin retract, and the Boulder is hurled towards the target. If the Self-Guided, Mobile platform option is purchased, it is at this point that the real magic takes place. The Snow Boulder Trebuchet mounted on the Mobile, Self-Guided Platform is able to independently move and rotate to adjust for any deviation of projectile-to-projectile performance. The Sick Laser measuring system measures the impact position of the projectile and communicates the information to the BRC Bodas Dedicated Ground Drive Controller, which provides guidance to the propulsion system. The Mobile platform is equipped with independent MCR Wheel motors mounted to the bottom of each corner’s Platform Leg for propulsion. Platform elevation stability is maintained by a Lean Technik Rack and Pinion drive in each Platform Leg. The Platform is able to rotate by using a BRC servomotor driven Nexen Rotary Gearbox and Table. A diesel-powered Gen-set provides power for the mobile platform. Submission by Tim Wilson and Mike Croy

Enter Your Submission Here

To enter the Christmas Catapult Contest, complete the form and upload your sketch below. Please complete your submission by 12 pm EST Monday, January 4.