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How a Bowling Alley Works

Wonder how bowling pins are sets?

Ninety-five million people all over the world throw a ball like this one and knock down billions of pins year after year after year.

Not that long ago teenagers used to reset these pins by hand but that left restless bowlers waiting for the next shot this robot is about to turn 50 and it never stops working no lunch break here it’s cheap to run doesn’t suck up a lot of power and it’s fast the Brunswick a to pinsetter can sweep up and rack a set of pins in just nine point two seconds without fancy software just four thousand moving parts that run like a clock.

Let’s see how it works. A typical throw will launch the three to seven kilogram ball in two pins made from hardrock maple at over 30 km/h the pin setter Waits birds queue when the ball passes this electronic I two things happen. A real ace which tells the A2 to get busy while a camera snaps a picture and sends the data to the scoreboard.

A2 locates the standing pins and snatches them up while a sweeper clears the pin deck of fallen ones the same pins are then set back down in the exact position the bottom left of it back in the pit area the fallen pins separate from the ball a belt sends the pins to the top of the machine where they drop into a metal tray called a turnaround pen.

The weight of the pins body makes it drop heavy part first into the pan so they always load right side up into the distributor wheel each time a pin loads it triggers a clutch which moves the carousel into the next position ready to take the next pin [Music] while all that’s going on the a2 gets the ball back to the bowler ASAP the ball makes its way through here to an elevator and from there it rolls along a downslope tunnel as gravity sends it back to the player.

At the end of the shaft a series of motorized rollers send the ball up this s-shaped curve it all happens in about the same time that it takes to tie your shoes after the bowler takes his second and final shot of the frame the sweeper clears any remaining pins sensors on the pin deck detect that there is no more standing wood so it sends a message to the distributor wheel to release the pins all ten of which are reset the a2 automated pinsetter machine completes its cycle like it has every day every year and every decade smoothly and efficiently this old boy rarely keeps a bowler waiting

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