This is a t-shirt cannon and this is a cannon that just happens to shoot a t-shirt. I went farther than anticipated, but to understand the convoluted path for how i ended up here and eventually, right here and who the heck this kid is. We've got to first. Go back a few months because that's when i was hanging out with my friend who had an odd request, explain what it is you're looking for for me.
Well, my dream is the world's most powerful t-shirt cat, a t-shirt cannon that could possibly kill now to be fair. His request sort of did make sense, given he had a college football bowl game named after him, and he didn't want to disappoint the fans and i didn't want a disappointed friend. So my first thought was to save myself a lot of time on the design by just shooting a t-shirt from an actual cannon. But to do that, i would need to answer one key question: just how powerful is a real cannon and we're about to find out six ounces of black powder behind a t-shirt in an actual civil war cannon.
Let's see what the heck happens, this is science and while we load that in let's review the simple mechanics of how a cannon works, basically the gunpowder goes here. Cannonball goes here, then you light the gunpowder and it turns into a gas and expands very quickly, and then the gases are like dude. It's suddenly way too crowded in this small space. For us, we got ta get out of here and because all these walls are way too strong, the best option is down the barrel, and since the ball happens to be in the way it gets pushed along for the ride with all the escaping gas, they just Told me to keep my mouth open.
I don't know why. Oh yeah, i'm not sure the jimmy kimmel bowl is gon na. Allow me to fire these into the crowd i might have to pivot. So obviously an actual cannon was way too powerful, but to understand by just how much it was time for the most on-brand measurement device.
I know the watermelon it's watermelon times, so, while we enjoyed the fruits of our labors, i was already thinking of a plan b, and i knew just where to turn this is anthony. He was being interviewed by the local news because he invented a really cool ventilator made out of legos right here. There is area for a oxygen tube so after he explained how it works. They asked about his future life plans.
I want to be a mechanical engineer and what would be amazing is if i would be able to do a co-op or something with the youtube marker over with who the youtuber mark robert. Oh, oh he's my favorite youtuber, so yeah good, good luck! Well clearly, only one of these three was going to be my future boss, so i tracked him down, and his parents told him one more local news station wanted to talk about his build. What's up anthony, i have an engineering challenge that i need. Some help on are you my guy yeah sure yeah.
You know i've ever seen in a game they have like t-shirt, cannons yeah. I thought it would be cool to make the world's largest most powerful t-shirt cannon for like a local high school game here. This was a bit of a white lie. My real plan was to get anthony design it for me.Then he would attend what he thought was an ordinary football game. Then i would surprise him by showing up and tell him it was time to fire his creation. In front of 50 000 people, but first i needed his idea, so we started riffing on how he could design this thing. This back section we could kind of film a giant pressure tank back here, it'd be funny.
If i don't know, there's like a chariot beside it that held like a giant air tank in it, so that maybe in like that, we could hide it or something right, yeah, all right pal, it's really great to meet you i'll talk to you soon. Okay, okay, and now that i knew what anthony had in mind, all we needed was a 10 second build montage to make the thing time to load the slug. This is about a three pound ball of rags. Let's see what happens.
This is the first test fire here we go and there wasn't a lot of space at this location, so this first shot was about one third full power, three, two one! Oh no! I think we killed the donkey now. It was up to me to go full sand lot and retrieve this thing. Oh my gosh, oh yeah, so thankfully both me and the donkey survived, but it was time to head to a bigger field. So we could really test the full capabilities of the cannon.
I dare anyone to get in my way now. I quickly want to mention to really appreciate the challenge ahead of us. You have to appreciate that so far where the game was going to be played is just a massive stadium, so the goal of the game was for jimmy's sidekick guillermo to be in the top row and then anthony jimmy, and i would be down on the field. So this is the correctly scaled shot that we'd have to hit and since we know the horizontal and vertical measurements to that seat, we placed a drone in the sky at that exact location, and our goal was basically to hit that drone.
That seems incredibly far away. I've never built anything that could remotely shoot that far three two one go and that first shot was at about two-thirds full power, and you can see it was well short of the drone and had a trajectory sort of like this. It also presented some other issues. Look at that bag.
Dude! Oh, did we bust? Oh, we ripped a hole, that's capable, and after that we decided just to give it all the power she had and cross our fingers. This is the big mama. 500 psi eight pounds. This is like a real life cannon.
Here we go three two one go yeah that tape that tape didn't do so hot and considering our payload weighed eight pounds, which was basically a gallon of milk. This was a bomb of a shot, but, as you can see from the viewpoint of the top seat, it wasn't far enough now. I just want to remind you. This is how far a normal wimpy t-shirt cannon shoots one shirt, whereas our cannon was shooting the equivalent weight of 25 shirts at this trajectory, and yet it still wasn't going to cut it.And so we stayed there the whole day and there are a bunch more tests. I won't bore you with, but the punch line was that, no matter what we tried, we couldn't make it to guillermo in the top row. So i had to call anthony to give him the bad news and try and figure out what to do next. What's up anthony how's it going buddy, it's been going really good and lucky for me, he'd been hard at work, yeah really busy.
So we got right into it and for the first issue of the bag gripping, he suggested we replace our canvas bag with something stronger kevlar. He had another suggestion to protect our bag, though something to produce drag like a parachute, and then he went on to tell me how he'd anticipated this would be an issue which is why he spent the last two weeks designing, building and testing a system that could Release a parachute after prescribed time delay and that's when i realized he would be my boss sooner than i first anticipated next, he told me three modifications to make it shoot farther, but before i tell you how he was exactly right, we need to review how the T-Shirt cannon actually works, so it's the exact same principle as the real cannon, but instead of using gunpowder to make an explosion to make it all super crowded with gas, you take a high pressure tank like this and put some of that high pressure air into this Accumulator tank and then once again all the gas in that tank is like it's way too crowded. We got ta get out of here. So when you open this valve, it's a mad dash down the barrel and the t-shirt just happens to be in the way.
So it goes for the ride, just like the cannonball, and this is the same principle as shooting a spit ball with a straw. It's the same principle that powered my nerf gun my super soaker and pretty much any system that uses air to launch stuff. So his first suggestion was a bigger tank, and this makes sense because it would sustain the force on the t-shirt instead of like with a small tank where you just get a brief poof and he went on to mention his second idea or like a longer barrel. So it can really get up to speed, and this is also true, which is why rifles shoot faster bullets than handguns, and his third suggestion was to increase the size of the connecting tube here.
So, instead of necking down you just have it go straight to the final diameter, and that means there's no traffic jams as the air rushes out, which means it can get out faster. So after that call, we went back and pretty much instituted all of anthony's suggestions in some form or another, and i was feeling like we were back in the game and so after another full day of testing. This is where we stood. Eight inch cannon, 13-pound mortar, with the parachute 500 psi roll the drone.
Here we go fire the big bomb. We basically shot nearly two gallons of milk over a 30 story building and it traveled for two and a half football fields which put us way beyond the guillermo spot, plus anthony's parachute system kicked in at just the right moment, so his kevlar bag landed in pristine Shape and by the way you might be wondering, what's in this massive bag, well, the world's largest t-shirt cannon naturally should shoot the world's largest t-shirt. Probably i haven't looked it up, but this has got to be the world's largest look at this thing. So the next step is to actually head to sofi and show this to the lawyers and see if they'll, let us shoot it and right off the bat.The lawyers were like yeah you're gon na have to use the smaller barrel in payload because of like safety or something i don't know. The goal is to bomb a t-shirt from right here, literally to the very last seat in the nosebleed section of the stadium. Thanks to anthony's work, never again will the fine folks in the nosebleed section be robbed of an amazing t-shirt. So we decided to start at one third power in an attempt to shoot a shot like this, and then we could work our way up.
But that is not what happened. Oh, my gosh, oh my god anthony what have you done out of the park baby and not being sure if that was a fluke or not, we tried the same power level again and this time we dude perfected, the crud out of it with a bank shot Off the roof, and after that we decided it was prudent to reduce the power further to one-fourth full pressure which was killing me, because if they would have, let us open that to full based off our previous tests. We could have uncle recode it from this end zone out the stadium and well into the parking lot, but you know lawyers, let's have it, and so this was our third and final shot at that reduced 25 full pressure yeah. We literally just hit the back of the seat of the very top row in the entire arena and that perfectly accomplished our objective down to a few inches, which was a huge weight off my shoulders.
Because i felt like we were locked on anthony's design and i remember my first experiences with engineering and i really wanted this to be a grand slam for him. And so, after a few last minute, cosmetic modifications game day had arrived and, as the team started, warming up the stands started. Filling up. Okay, we just received word anthony, is on the premises but he's not in his seat yet so it's time for me to go.
Incognito and to do that, i needed a prop bard for my buddy, adam savage, it's a beard, but it's like glasses, freaking beard, glasses, pretty cool. Stealing. My cameraman's hat. Look like an ice road trucker, oh yeah! You can't even tell that's me, i'm more nervous.
I think about the surprise that i am about actually firing the cannon there. They are. They just sat down all right. Let's do this we're sneaking up behind anthony he's in his seats right now.
He has no idea. What's going on, this is hands down. My favorite part of this job, i love a freaking good surprise. Here we go, i heard you were here, so i decided to come down and say hi.I am look, i'm shaking just as much so. I've got to be honest. You know that cannon we've been designing. We designed it for this game and at halftime you're going to go out with me and jimmy kimmel and we're gon na fire it in front of 50 000 people, and then the teams came back out on the field and the game began and as the quarter Progressed the anticipation was building.
You got anything else planned for us that we should know about. I do we build the world's most powerful t-shirt cannon. It is an enormous, very, very powerful projectile device and we're gon na do that at halftime and so with halftime. Just around the corner, we went to check out his creation.
What do you think buddy that looks amazing and i had to explain that because of his help we couldn't go more than 25 pull power. We could crank it all the way up to 550, but that's how you bomb it out of the stadium. That's how you break a window, yeah that'll break a window. I'm really excited you excited me too.
Are you nervous yeah? Definitely, all right! Buddy, two minutes left. You ready don't think about the 50 000 people watching you, okay, just don't think about that part, and then it was go time. Mark rober, who is a former nasa engineer. He built a very powerful t-shirt.
Canon you want to show it to us mark yeah. That's right with my buddy anthony: he did all the hard work and design did i just built the thing you think this is gon na work, anthony yeah. I definitely think so, but maybe not and there's anthony already qualifying his statements. Like a true engineer, we do not want to fire it directly into this section: do not kill anyone mark.
We are gon na, be the first bowl game to put a t-shirt on the moon. Okay, here we go three. Two, it's gon na be loud cover your ears. Incredible through the roof, i've been told, we've been out of the stadium.
We went out of the stadium. Well, that was very exciting. Thank you. Mark yeah you're welcome good job buddy.
We did it. What did you think that was insane? That was all you pal good job, thanks jimmy, and so even after doing our best to appease the lawyers at 1, 4th power anthony just noped it right out of the park. So, after that we went back and enjoyed the second half, as i just hoped. He would remember this experience for a really long time so that i could at least have a leg up one day when i apply to work for his company nine years ago.
I had an idea for a simple halloween costume, so i used my nights and weekends to develop the idea and then we launched it and made our money back in like eight hours, and i remember thinking how crazy it is that we live in a day and Age, where you could have an idea for a thing and then make the thing and sell it to anyone in the world in such a short amount of time, and the reason that's so easy now is because of people like my friends at shopify who happen to Be supporting this video so the way it works. Is you get to do the creative fun part and come up with the idea and make the thing, and then shopify simplifies all the other stuff you need to do to sell it like register the domain, create the website. Take credit cards even tools to help you market to get the word out and full disclosure. My love for shopify runs deep and starts with their ceo toby, who, you might recall, was the top donor for both team trees and team.C's plus my own merch store markrober.com runs off shopify, so i've been a happy customer for a long time. So if you want to start on your path of turning an idea into a side hustle into a main hustle check out, shopify.com mark rober use the link in the video description and get a 14 day free trial. So thanks to shopify for being the best thanks to the t-shirt cannon for not causing significant property damage or bodily harm, and thanks to you for watching.