If you’ve ever fantasized about hurling a vibranium shield at baddies like Captain America does, but aren’t sure you can get your hands on some super soldier serum, Shane Wighton has created the next best thing. Their wrist-worn disc launcher is technically designed for dominating disc golf, but it can probably also make your superhero fantasies a reality.
Wighton, a talented engineer, designer, builder, and test pilot for weird and wonderful homebrew machines, has found a niche in building machines that allow the average person to dominate sports. These have included a shot-tracking self-adjusting basketball backboard, an automatic pool cue that handles all the aiming and power adjustments itself, and a baseball bat powered by literal explosives that guarantees a home run with every hit.
The latest sport Wighton aims to dominate, or at least get better at, is disc golf: a variation where clubs and balls are replaced with frisbees. Specifically, Wighton wants to improve the opening drive where competitors attempt to throw a frisbee as fast and as far as possible. The world record for a human thrown frisbee was 145 km/h, but through brute engineering force, Wighton manages to shatter that record.
Their latest creation is a wrist-worn launcher powered by a 3,000 PSI air canister worn around the belt, and as with all of Wighton’s creations to date, the process of engineering, testing it, and repeating that process again and again, is the most entertaining part of the build. Not only did all the parts have to be custom built to survive all the forces at play, but Wighton had to redesign the disc holder itself several times as the tremendous G-forces involved during a launch (455 Gs of acceleration) would instantly warp the plastic discs.
When all was said and done, Wighton had succeeded in creating a launcher that could hurl discs at almost 161 km/h, but the forces had to be significantly dialed back when trying to wear the creation to ensure it didn’t break their arm — as low as 10% of its full potential power. And while Wighton’s contraption was able to break speed records, it could actually only launch discs about half the distance of what the best human disc golf players were capable of. In other words, we can possibly expect to see a version 2.0 in a future video before Wighton decides to compete against the pros.
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