Nerf sentry gun with image recognition

Here’s another hacked Nerf Vulcan rifle. This time it is an automated sentry gun. You must present it your badge, if no badge is found, you are assaulted with a fiery storm of small nerf darts. All encounters are logged and a photos are kept. This was a final project at Cornell, and for once it wasn’t ECE.  This was for CS1114. They did a pretty good job with the tracking, now they need to add some more interesting voice options to it.


  1. M4CGYV3R says:

    Badass. That’s the best documentation I think I’ve seen yet on any of these auto-turret projects.

  2. Incubus says:

    Looks very good. Shows a lot of promise.

  3. an4rk says:

    another gem from caleb kraft and his lack of spell check… the title of the video _clearly_ says ‘sentry’ whereas mr. kraft titled the article ‘centry’ … amazing

  4. sly says:

    I bet this could be easily modified for paintball for all those paintball freaks.

    and maybe even for home defense to “mark” the culprit with paint. I’m thinking back-yard sentry or front yard that’s fenced in.

    oh yeah… first real post :-p

  5. pod says:

    spellcheck title ;)

  6. sly says:

    ok… nevermind… 4 people posted at the same time… gotta love the internets

  7. abumaia says:

    “more interesting voice options…” anyone else think of the Portal turrets?

  8. Caleb Kraft says:

    _thanks_ …most helpful it has been fixed…

    Seriously though, I have to look over these better.

  9. Mike says:


  10. cyc4015 says:

    easily the coolest nerf mod ever invented. ever

  11. cd0 says:

    I felt ill when I saw a National Instruments USB-6008/9. Use a labjack instead of that overpriced crap, please!

  12. Jeremy says:

    I already owned the NI DAQ from a previous research project, so it made sense to use it.

  13. Skwibow says:

    Spy sappin’ my sentry!

  14. sansan says:

    I can’t believe it. More guns… same discussion we had with the portable coil pistol (may 7). check my comment and nubie’s comment about guns and the imagination… and then don’t wonder why so many people get killed here in the USA…

  15. Dirk says:

    sansan. do you really believe nerf guns contribute to violence?

  16. xrazorwirex says:

    omgzz we haz to explode all gunz or they will come kill us all!!!

    How does we do it? Magicz?

  17. Louis II says:

    Good presentation, but I had one small thought about the language used; It was said “basically” then there proceeded to be a paragraph of description describing how some thing worked and was sending signals. This happened twice and didn’t sound very basic to me.

    Other than by regular bsing (above) I think you did a very awesome job with this. Physics book for the win!

  18. andrew says:

    Nice work. I’m surprised they got the thing to turn at all with the servo. The image recognition over video is pretty cool too. Maybe when they take an ece class they’ll ditch the national instruments USB 6008/9 (or labjack, if that’s your thing) and just do servo control with a microcontroller over serial.

  19. badge recognition? yeehaw!
    Thatt’l stop that durn red spy from getting so close to my sentry!

  20. sean says:

    am I the only one who found the mention of the napkin holders at 3:35 hilarious.

  21. jason says:

    we couldn’t use a microcontroller because 1) this was supposed to be a matlab project, and 2) the setup we had (webcam and NI usb) worked fine and we had already spent enough money.

    abumaia: you can easily change the sounds by substituting in different wavs in the sounds folder :)

  22. Mr.Metro says:

    Am I the only one to notice the music selection ruined the entire thing. Ick… Great job on the hardware/software of the project but I digress.

  23. strider_mt2k says:

    They made an automated nerf sentry gun with tracking and recognition capabilities and the only thing they can be called on are grammatical errors?

    -and what music they chose for the video?

    Looks like the only thing you really need to do is a little proof reading on your presentation.
    That’s like 5 minutes and doesn’t even involve the project itself.

    I’d call that pure -= win =- fellas.

    pure win.

    Congrats on an awesome project.

  24. strider_mt2k says:

    -and yes:
    Best presented and best done sentry gun thus far.

  25. fartface says:

    Why is it that the lag on these “sentry” systems is so bad that even an out of shape person can dodge the aiming.

    Put decent servos in there and either put in decent processing or close the loop tighter on the tracking. it should adjust aiming 60 times a second at least.

    The phalanx auto guns reassess aiming 240 times a second

  26. Billy says:

    Very cool project Great Job!

  27. bhartley says:

    i was hoping for robocop sound effects personally. “you have 15 seconds to comply”

    you could also use proportional navigation for better tracking. like a sidewinder

  28. Arthur Grumbine says:


    I’m sorry that you, or someone you know, has obviously suffered some loss at the hands of a nerf-gun wielding maniac, but I think that you lack what we living in free countries like to call “perspective”.

    You’re right; that music was AWESOME!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Now all we need to do is build a Nerf sapper and we’ll be all set!

  30. Todd Grigsby says:

    Extremely badass, but it kills me that the kid talking about the software spent more time showing the different color schemes (“and this one looks like Star Wars”) than on how the target recognition works.

  31. ED209 says:

    You are in direct violation
    of penal code 27 section C.

    – You have five seconds to comply.

    – Four, three, two, one.

    I am now authorized
    to use physical force.

  32. Bushi says:

    I would guess the reason the turret is slow to respond has to do with Matlab’s Image Aquisition Toolbox. I was playing around with it for a purpose similar to this and found it extremely clunky.

    I gotta agree on the presentation, best sentry doc so far but still lacking alot of technical information.

  33. sheldonjames says:

    must of been patronizing to go around picking up all those darts. that was always my least favorite part of nerf wars. I say get a roomba with dart recognition software to suck them up and bring them back!

  34. no_nerfiggas says:

    “do you really believe nerf guns contribute to violence?”

    In this country, we’re allowed to bear arms to protect ourselves from nerfiggas.

  35. pseudoanonymous coward says:

    I want one of those for my lab! That’ll teach the maintenance people to just walk in and start messing around near our million dollar equipment without calling ahead first.

  36. Rober says:

    But why does it take crotch shots???

  37. naxxtor says:

    Slow aiming is forgivable. MATLAB is *slow*, and there’s not a heck of a lot you can do to get away from that. If you implemented it in something less bloat-tastic, i’m sure you could make it much quicker.

  38. Awsome says:

    now make it controllable via internet… (gut a mobile security cam use it’s motor with the cam, Make sure you use one that can be connected to by the internet…)

  39. John S says:

    Hey guys,

    Great job guys! Did y’all use LabVIEW?

    You can use the inputs on that 6009 instead of that stamp to control the limits.

  40. How is this useful to any of our current common needs?

  41. a7AI-442 says:

    What, No thermal tracking interface?

  42. j4x0r says:

    can it be mad to fire at any movement? that would be beast!

    and the movements are kinda slow and no too great…\\but over all it is fucking awesome!

  43. Robert says:

    Very Cool! I never even thought this was possible!
    I Love the badge part!

    Very useful if you’ve got an Arch-Nemesis coming to your house!

  44. Rogh-sensei says:

    Am I the only one that thought they should integrate this into a scale model ED-209?



  45. Asad khan says:

    If any body have some data about sentry gun so plese share with me……I have an assignment please…..

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