Live at
World Maker Faire 2016

Built in a college dorm room off a $1000 Columbia Engineering grant, the T-Shirt Shooting Robot is a smartphone-operated, 100-pound robot that shoots t-shirts into crowds.

Neil Chen

I am a Computer Science student at Columbia University, and a volunteer superuser at the Columbia University MakerSpace. After months of design iterations and code revisions, we look forward to entertaining and teaching Maker Faire attendees about robotics, technology, engineering, and the opportunities available to anyone interested in making things. You can view some of my work at and

Why do you have nuts and bolts all over your desk?

Built in a college dorm room off a $1000 Columbia Engineering grant, the T-Shirt Shooting Robot is a 100-pound robot that shoots t-shirts into crowds using two counter-rotating flywheels. Its six-chambered electric shooter sits atop three omnidirectional drive modules, which allow it to drive around while controlled remotely via mobile phone.


As makers, we (Jan and Neil) are interested in working on projects that inspire people to build bigger and better. To that end, we have packed the T-Shirt Shooting Robot with plenty of features, including:
  • Automatically revolving shooter, to fire up to six shirts at a time
  • OpenCV-powered computer vision to recognize and move towards human faces
  • Custom mobile interface and Flask webserver, to communicate remotely with a human operator (who could be you, this year at Maker Faire New York!)
  • Adjustable shooter angle via a custom linear actuator
  • Lasercut and 3D-printed construction, thanks to the Columbia MakerSpace.


We are grateful for the resources and support lent to us by Joel Heitman, Bob Stark, the Columbia Engineering Student Council, and the Columbia MakerSpace. We look forward to demonstrating our work at Maker Faire, and to seeing you at our booth!

Jan Pazhayampallil

I study Electrical Engineering at the Grove School of Engineering. Biomedical technology is an intense interest of mine; as a result, we tried to imbue animal-inspired motion in the T-Shirt Shooting Robot by building an omnidirectional drive platform. This means the robot is able to translate and rotate in all directions, just like a person can. Designing towards that capability, alongside many others, has been a massive engineering challenge, and we have dedicated many months to every detail. I look forward to meeting you at Maker Faire New York this October!