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In 2008, Fred Hafer Jr., President and Owner of Omnitech Automation, Inc. wanted to buy a football throwing machine for his then 6-year-old son. He was aware of the professional-grade machines in the market but felt that they were too big, heavy and unsafe for a young person to operate.

He also wanted a football throwing machine that could be used by one person and was battery-operated. He wanted to buy something that was well built and could throw a youth-size football a reasonable distance with a spiral motion, but at a reasonable price. After months of searching various retail stores and the internet, he ultimately came to the conclusion that the product he wanted didn't exist. He was convinced that, if such a product were developed, it would enjoy wide-scale success. This realization motivated him to invent the Ball Cannon®.

As President and Owner of Omnitech Automation, Inc. (a manufacturer of custom, automated equipment), Mr. Hafer had the resources to design, fabricate and test his ideas. The first tests involved trying to understand the physics behind launching a football with a spiral rotation using two rotating wheels. After some experimenting with handheld drills and caster wheels, Mr. Hafer and his team figured out how to position, space and rotate the wheels in order to get a consistent, spiral launch.

During their testing with various types of footballs (leather, foam, etc.), the company decided that the first version of the product should be designed to launch a foam-style football (as opposed to leather) because the softer, foam-style footballs were safer and easier to catch. Mr. Hafer felt that this would make the product more appealing to a wider population. From this point forward, as the company continued developing the product, all of the testing was done with a NERF™ brand football. After perfecting the ability to launch footballs, the next step was to develop a system to automatically feed balls to the launch wheels so that the product could be used by one person. Multiple concepts were developed and tested over the course of several years but the company ultimately settled on a very elegant design that utilized a motorized carriage that rode on guide rails and pushed the ball into the spinning launch wheels. Another design goal was for the product to be able to launch footballs at various angles while keeping the base of the unit flat on the ground. Mr. Hafer's team developed its now patented curved launch rail system. Finally, although not a feature offered on the first version of the product, the company also developed a ball magazine that holds a plurality of balls so that several balls could be launched in succession, without the user having to reload balls. The magazine utilizes a motorized escapement that drops a ball onto the guide rails after the previous ball is launched. This feature will be introduced in a future version of the product.

Believing that many of the features that the company developed for its football throwing machine were novel, on January 20, 2012, the company decided to file a patent application with the USPTO. A little over three years later, the company was award U.S. patent #9,022,016 on May 5, 2015. The company also trademarked the brand name Ball Cannon® and established a new company, FreVon, Inc., that will be based in Reading, PA, where the product will be produced and distributed.

In recent years the company spent its time streamlining the design of the product, converting the metal parts that were used to make prototype versions of the product to plastic, and lining up commercial suppliers. During this time the company also formed a relationship with Hasbro, the manufacturer of the NERF football, to license its NERF brand.