Interactive Pitching :)

Group Members: Altariq Harrison, Somtoo Ebele, Evan Montgomery, Fernando Burgos, Korlu Jallah


Our Problem: 

Young players don’t like to practice because they find it boring. As a result of this, they neglect practicing and only get their reps in when it’s time for a game.

Our Solution:  

The purpose of our project is to aspiring pitchers improve their pitching accuracy.  The board will consist of a strike zone which when hit will light up. When a ball hits the ball zone, then lights will flash. 

Update: 7/9/13

Today, we came to conclusion on what our summer project would be. We concluded that we would make a pitching helper and plan to use the shop bot to make the physical structure,  and scratch for the scoreboard.

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Update: 7/10/13


 What is problem are you solving or what issue are you addressing?

-Making baseball practice fun.

What will you build?

-A pitching target which notifies you when you throw a ball or a strike.

Who will use it?

-Baseball players.

How will it help?

-It will improve pitching accuracy and urges people to practice.

What are the 3 most important things it will do?

  1. Notify players whether they throw a ball or strike. 
  2. Keep score of points.
  3. Have a strike zone.

What are its most important parts or features?

  • Strike Zone.
  • Pressure sensors.
  • Scoreboard.

What are the three technologies you imagine needing & how will you use each?

  1. Scratch
  2. Shopbot
  3. Modkit


What are the sensors like on the device?

The sensors will be made from a simple button and velostat On the slots that the baseball goes into it will push the the sensor which will then send to the remote/hand held object the number of points received and whether it was a ball or a strike.

How is it like ski-ball?

Our project is similar to ski-ball because it requires you to pitch the ball into a slot and you get points depending on which hole it goes into.

What would make someone want to buy this over another kind of game?

This would mostly be appealing to people who play baseball. People would use it to improve their pitching.

How is it going to be made and constructed?

It will be made out of wood. Holes will be cut out of the wood and sensors will be inserted so when the ball passes through the hole the score will be updated.

Is it going to be able to tell you how to target?

Yes, we plan on making it adjustable to accommodate the strike zones of varying heights of people

What technologies would you use to create the sensing of that?

Modkit and velostat

Have you thought about the creation of a leader board system?


5 Keywords to google about Interactive Pitching that need answering:

  1. How to create a pressure sensor.
  2. How to make a scoreboard using scratch on displayed on something other than a computer.
  3. How to make something wireless (infrared)
  4. How to make things light up using modkit?
  5. How to make a light pressure sensor / do we need to make it or buy it?

3 Examples of Products that have parts like Interactive Pitching

1) Batting Cages:

– The batting cage produces consistently located pitches, we are trying to help people improve their pitching skills and using the same element like the  machine

2)  Darts:

-The darts inspired us to have a scores systems that will motivate players to push themselves.

3) Dance Dance Revolution:

-The Dance Dance revolutions game has sensor pads, something that that we are thinking about incorporating into our project.




1. Helps aspiring pitcher improve their pitching.

2. It actually IS feasible and would actually be very useful.

3. Has the potential to be successful in the future generation of aspiring professionals.

1. There is not a barrier between the target and spectators; a potential danger is evident.

2. Not for use in rain.

3. Scoreboard protection is needed.

Desperately.  Struggle is real. Slump.

 3 DIY projects

– This website isn’t exactly one but it could potentially be considered as a DIY, but it give us an understanding and base of what we would like our project to look like.

-This website give us an idea of how to create a pressure sensor. It is not the one we plan on using but we plan on using the information to create a bigger one.

-This website give us information on how to program the LED lights which will be incorporate in our design.


Update: 7/11/13

Today we met at the Tech Center and began prototyping. Evan completed the test coding for the prototype using scratch and Brad helped us with designing the prototype and what our project might possibly look like. So far we’ve decided that we were going to have strike zones, ball zones, and the zones in between strikes and balls which would still be counted as strikes.


-This is the prototype sketch, it has a strike zone and a ball zone we plan to program the prototype with the strike and ball zones and also the zones that might be strikes and balls.



Update: 7/15/13

Today we began to build the prototype. We used copper tape as a base for the sensors and we tested out the program we created for the ball/strike system. With the foam acting as a pressure resistor, it proved not to be sensitive enough. With the foam used as the pressure resistor it sensed the ball as it was laying on the sensor but an actual pitch was too quick for it to sense. However, the suggestion by Susan to use velostat proved to be more effective, as it provided just the right amount of resistance in order to effectively complete the circuit as the ball was being thrown at it at an accelerated speed.


Video of Interactive Pitching Testing Out the Sensors of the Prototype


Update: 7/18/13 

After doing some research on how to hack a keyboard, we discovered that the sensors on Interactive Pitching could be made as one button, just as a keyboard. Instead of using an Arduino, the same goal could be accomplished with an old HP keyboard we found lying around SETC. Initially we assumed that the material that created resistance in the button completed the circuit, but then after research we realized that the button only pushed something to complete the circuit. After this realization we decided to take the park of the keyboard which causes resistance between the button and the circuit and incorporate it into our project to use as a resistor to replace the foam.

A close up of the Keyboard we scrapped and the new button

A close up of the Keyboard we scrapped and the new button

 Update: 7/22/13

Today we plan to modify the sensor to look more presentable. In the Fab Lab we also plan to use the Shop Bot to create the backing of the many sensors that will be aligned in a grid over the top.  


Update: 7/24/13

Today we completed our prototype along with its wiring. Along with completing it, it was tested it in scratch using scratch and it works. Next we plan to cut the rug that is supposed to covering the wood into pieces and cover to wood to keep it protected.


 The Making of the Board
Update: 8/5/13
Today Korlu began the program for the LED scoreboard using Lilypad.

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