How do I make a launcher that can punch objects off my fork/claw?

I have an idea recently, I don’t know if people already started implementing this idea, but that doesn’t matter. I want to make a puncher that goes in the middle of my claw that will push the stars/pillow forward, as the claw opens (can also apply to fork bots). Pneumatics is not an option for my team, any ideas? I need the puncher to be in its punch position when it’s released, but can still somehow LOCK itself in the “inserted” position (don’t know how to describe it but you know what I mean).

first thing that came to mind if a slip gear, but after a week of thinking and research I still have no clue on how to implement a locking mechanism on it.

the closest design that found that might work is shown in this video from youtube, but I want to hear from the community, thanks!

Check out choo-choo catapults. I’m honestly not quite sure what you want, but nevertheless it’s good to see.

You should try Limit switches.

To make your slip gear lock, put a ratcheting system on it. This will make it so you can pull the launcher back almost all the way, and it will lock at that position. Then, when you want to launch, just pull the arm back a little more, and it will launch.

Possibly try an adaption of something like this if you want an easily repeatable action