Responsive Target

Requested Project

Build a target such as an oversize basketball hoop, or soccer goal, or circular target.  A ball or other object is thrown at the target.  When the target is hit, a response such as flashing lights or the sound of applause is generated.  For use by children with disabilities.

The objective of this project is to provide a target to be used by children with disabilities during gym class.  The target should be usable with a soft 8 inch ball and other similar objects.   Examples of the type of target desired are a basketball style hoop, soccer goal, or bulls-eye target.  When the child successfully puts the ball through the target, a visual (lights) and audible (applause sound or similar) is produced.  For these children, receiving the response is important to their enjoyment and development.

The idea for this project was conceived by Ann Griffin of Grant Wood Area Education Agency and submitted to the Rockwell Collins Retiree Volunteers organization in 2001.  It was designed and fabricated by Jack Murphy in 2002 and 2003.

Design Notes

The Responsive Target has a large hoop which is attached to a backboard.  When a person throws a ball through the hoop, lights on the backboard are illuminated and a recorded sound (such as applause) is produced.  

The hoop has a net and the overall appearance is similar to a basketball hoop.  Hooks on the back of the backboard are designed to slip between the cracks in the vertical walls formed by folded bleacher seats typically found in school gymnasiums.  This allows the unit to be attached to the wall at various heights.

The hoop is 24 inches in diameter and made of irrigation tubing.  This tubing is flexible enough so that a person would not be injured by falling into it, yet strong enough to provide a durable target.

The backboard is 12 inches high and 20 inches wide.   The hoop attaches to the lower front portion of the backboard.  The upper front of the backboard contains the area for lights.  The lights are located behind a sheet of polycarbonate window for protection.  There are 3 types of lights.  First is the rope light.  It is red and located inside the hoop.  The rope light stays on all the time that the unit is plugged in.  The second type of light is the 4 oblong lights (actually made of vehicle tail lights).  These come on briefly when a ball goes through the hoop.  Finally there is one light which flashes after a made basket.  This flashing light is not currently implemented.

The response to a made basket also produces a sound.  This sound lasts several seconds.  Either of two recorded sounds will be produced.  Examples for sounds are applause, bugle charge, and a bell.  The unit includes a microphone and the sounds must be stored by recording with this microphone.  The recorded sound remains in the unit even when it is unplugged, so that making the recordings would be done initially and then infrequently after that.

The hoop is designed to fold up against the backboard to facilitate transportation and storage.

The unit must be plugged into wall power when operating.  There are no batteries in the unit.

The following controls are provided: 1) The flashing light can be turned on or off,   2) The sound can be selected to be either of the 2 sound sequences, or alternate between the two, or no sound at all.  Also controls for recording the sounds and testing the unit are provided.

RCRV designer is Jack Murphy, and was requested by Grant Wood AEA, Ann Griffin. The project was begun Nov 28, 2001 and completed Feb 9, 2003.


Back of unit

Back of unit with cover off

Additional Information:

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Design trade-off and circuit operation
Construction drawings
Bleacher hook

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