Alexa, Launch a Paper Plane
Entertain humans and pets alike with paper planes launched by your voice.
In this project we will take a look at a combination of some old and new technologies to achieve something even older, entertainment. Maybe I won’t have the timeline right but the technologies used in this projects are listed from the oldest to the newest below:
- Paper Planes
- Paper Plane Launcher
- Alexa Smart Home Skill
See full video here.
This is me launching a paper plane using the technology stack previously mentioned
I’m using this simple model for the paper plane because it’s sleek, easy to make and flies very well. I’m using paper rectangles of 6.5 x 8 cm and the instructions are shown below (taken from here)
Here’s an animation showing how the plane is built
Paper Plane Launcher
The Roof, the Bump and the Base
To launch a paper plane we use two motors to move two wheels separated by a small distance. The body of the plane passes between the wheels and it gets pushed as if we have launched the plane ourselves. I built something similar to what is shown in this video and added some structure so that I didn’t have to use my hands to make the planes take off.
The two components are a small base and a roof with a “bump”. Both components support the plane in position while it passes through the motors to get the push required to make it fly. I made a video describing the structure and you can see it in action below.
To create the whole structure I used cardboard and stick tape only. I started adding small rectangles of cardboard between the motors until I found the right number that separated them just enough to allow the planes to pass through while having a good contact with the wheels.
Once the two motors were joint together, I started adding the roof and the base following a similar principleho using the same small pieces of cardboard and stick tape.
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