Dominate winter with this fully automatic snowball machine gun

What would you do after completing an undergraduate degree at BYU, earning a Master’s in mechanical engineering at USC, and subsequently working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for nine years? If you’re engineer Mark Rober, you fashion a snowball-shooting leaf blower machine gun, of course. Unveiled via a video published to his official YouTube channel, Rober’s innovative winter weapon fires a staggering 13 snowballs in roughly half a second, effectively making him the envy of snowy neighborhoods the world over.

Rober, a San Francisco, California native, not only published an in-depth video walkthrough on the invention’s production but also shared the snowball machine gun’s blueprints online for anyone to have a crack at constructing. According to the content of the video, the decision to fashion an automatic snowball-firing weapon came in response to Rober consistently playing the role of snowball target for his nieces and nephews. More importantly, the YouTube video’s information section says the winter artillery rifle is “a must have in any self-respecting uncle’s arsenal.”

“We recently took a family vacation to the snow and, right away, I noticed two things. Number one, making and throwing snowballs with your hands is really inefficient,” states Rober in the video. “And number two, as an uncle, you’re always getting unfairly ganged up on. So in an attempt to address both of these issues, I decided to create a snowball machine gun.”

Mark-Rober-snowball-cannon

Using nothing more than a cordless leaf blower, some corrugated pipe, a few metal pipe clamps, and, of course, some duct tape, Rober’s genius idea became a reality. To make the contraption even better, he then added a sort of snowball magazine to one of the corrugated pipe’s openings (i.e., another pipe with an opening wide enough to hold several snowballs) and included a wooden plunger to give the leaf blower its machine gun-style feature. Rober even manufactured several backup magazines which allow him to essentially reload his leaf blower with roughly 15 more snowballs in a matter of seconds.

With the snowball machine gun completely constructed, Rober simply loads the magazine with snowballs, pulls the leaf blower’s trigger, and manually slides the wooden plunger to push each snowball into the blower’s vent. The leaf blower’s trigger completely controls how hard each snowball flies out of the invention, with a full press achieving a faster fire rate while slightly letting go of it allows him to fire a softer batch of ammunition. He’s even able to switch between a semiautomatic barrage of snowballs or firing just one at a time by how hard he pushes the wooden plunger.

Considering just how easy this was for Rober to manufacture, it’s likely swaths of people will take advantage of the posted plans and start constructing their own snowball machine guns. Because if there’s anything that was lacking in regards to the pastime of snowball fights, it was obviously rocket science.

Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Giveaways

Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.
Emerging Tech

Warm ski beanie instantly hardens into a head-protecting helmet upon impact

Wool hats are way more comfortable than hard helmets. You know what they're not? Safer. That could soon change, thanks to an innovative new ski beanie which instantly hardens upon impact.
Deals

Take to the skies with these 5 drones on sale for under $50

On the hunt for some cool tech for under $50? We've rounded up 5 drones under $50 that you can still get before Christmas. These models are great for kids, adults, and anyone just getting started with drones.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…