Duino tag


During our daily rounds we stumbled upon Duino Tag. Sure it’s not as awesome as a coil gun but it really sparked our imagination. First the base: an Arduino is wired up with IR LEDs and placed inside of a plastic pistol. A second Arduino with an IR receiver is scanning for the first Arduinos signal. A ‘shot’ of IR light is ‘fired’ and detected, you get a ‘kill’.

The base is nothing amazing, but it really gives us some ideas and we would like to see it expanded upon. [J44] has already put in a piezo and other LEDs to simulate muzzle flash and other effects. But we like to go further. Start off with multiple pistols and players. Include GPS to track players current position, and wireless to update each player of another player. A small wrist watch display could act much like a UAV. Add some expansions like IR ‘grenades’ and you’ve got a full-out war! What would you like to see?


  1. me says:

    Ranges, it would be great if different guns had different set ranges, this could create an effective team atmosphere. Also reload times.

  2. anon says:

    I could totally see making an IR shotgun.

    Sadly the person who would end winning is the guy with a universal remote.

    I think you would have to set some specifications of some sort for each weapon type.

    Like grenades can only go off once a round or game.

    I could see using XBee’s to make a meshable system.

  3. Steve says:

    There is another similar to this using PIC micro’s at http://www.lasertagparts.com – full guns / sound modules / sensors and kits! Its really neat, played with the idea of doing something with it for a bit but my interest faded…

  4. tr0nk says:

    jacket / pants / hat covered with IR receivers + arduino lillypad for location damage, meshed over xbee for keeping score / kill feedback.. maybe a speaker in the gun/an earpiece to play “*splishh*..HEADSHOT” ..drool

  5. Skyler says:

    I saw a set of open-source specifications and schematics for building a laser tag-type weapon. I can’t find it now though…

  6. Spork says:

    The problem with lasertag, as j44 mentioned, is that it’s not as painful as paintball or airsoft.

    What do I propose as the solution, you ask? Electric shock. Set up small IR recieving targets, with shock pads on the inside. Now, when you’re hit, we can short-circuit your gun temporarily as in traditional laser tag, and deliver the pain that is missing from paintballing!

  7. Peter says:

    @Spork it wouldnt be tough to hook up some sort of vibrator motor to a chest piece or something, so it would buzz if you got hit or something

  8. J44 says:

    Honoured you featured my hack!

    Open source specification referred to by Skyler is probably the miles tag protocol which this project starts to implement.

    To reply to Spork and Peter I have heard about gaming vests (eg the 3rd space gaming vest) which use pneumatics to let you feel hits. I would love to see one of these working with the duino tag system.

    I look forward to seeing where people take this idea, and hopefully challenging you to battle some time soon.

  9. nimitzbrood says:

    @Spork there already are shock toys of similar function:

    It wouldn’t be too hard to modify those for laser tag.

  10. x_25 says:

    There were toys available that worked like what you describe. There were different guns with different ranges and firing rates, load times and such. There were teams and you could get a computer that would plug into the vests and guns afterword to calculate team scores and such.

  11. Mark says:
  12. Tod says:

    @Spork — I was thinking similarly but more along the lines of a mild electric shock to the hand holding the pistol (to “disorient” the shooter) and disabling firing for a few moments as the one shot recovers enough to fire again.

  13. neon says:

    i for one am amazed and heartened by the lack of disparaging remarks made about the arduino so far

  14. Wolf says:

    Miles tag is an open source laser tag protocol for those of you who are interested. The website is here:


    This is probably a far cheaper and better option than using an arduino

  15. Jabaruk1 says:

    Many years ago i read a book which had Sony kill suits ,when hit in the arm a player would not be able to use that arm the suit could disable any part or the whole body (no harm to player) now that would be cool with this type of tag game.

  16. spacecoyote says:

    The duct tape is a nice touch…

  17. cow_juice says:

    Another Arduino… just shoot me.

  18. I dont like arduino says:

    With normal uC and not whole arduino stuff it will look more handy.

  19. interdude says:

    why not build a gun that fires arduinos at the person. That would be cool.

  20. therian says:

    f it , if people want to use arduino and having ball sack on their gun just f it

  21. strider_mt2k says:

    I found it to be a very cool project.

  22. monkeyslayer56 says:

    that looks really cool and i could so see that being expanded to have a GPS “radar” shock/virbartion for hits and varios types of weapons including grannades networked into the games network and accelerometer to sense throughing…
    ya it miay get a little pricy but it owuld be SOOOOOOOOO cool
    o ya and moldle the guns after reall ones :D…

  23. Tiak says:

    It’d be awesome to throw some more squad-FPS-like elements into a homebrew lasertag game. different “guns” could have different effective angles, ranges, and firing rates on their LEDs, as well as different ammount of damage for players. Some players could even get “medical kits” of sort to heal other players.

  24. Reuben says:

    To keep the costs down with having a GPS and such for location based play, it might be easier to develop an app for java, android or iphone and use that, although not everyone has phones with this functionality yet.

    But an LCD screen for radar, GPS and xBee is going to put the cost up by at least a few hundred, not including power and another few arduinos :) to connect it all.

    But if people are serious about spending their money, go for it!

  25. Alan says:

    @Jabaruk1 like in Ender’s Game?

  26. jcapogna says:

    Some EE students at my university are doing a laser tag project as their senior design project.

    They build their guns around a Freescale microcontroller. They use IR for their guns as well and claim about 80 meter range with the lenses they have to focus the IR beam.

    They’re using xBee wireless modules to enable communication. This enables them to get some more advanced games with team member interaction. They also built some wireless “wands” for games like capture the flag.

    They’re planning to include some graphical scripting so it can be easily customized to include different types of games.

    I’m not sure how far they’ve come. The last time I talked with them, they were a bit behind schedule, but it looks like a neat project.

  27. ali says:

    You could even us the wrist UAV/map to impliment air strikes and such.

  28. Sinistrahd says:

    @Jabaruk1 Or was it Robert Asprin’s “Cold Cash War?” In that one the suits froze up in the regions shot, or became completely rigid when a combatant was “killed.” It was right at the start of the book, and the wars were between cors, so Sony being one would be plausible there. I wonder if amazon has the first few pages readable…

    nope :( http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Cash-War-Robert-Asprin/dp/0441113826/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258308282&sr=8-1

  29. Haku says:

    If you were to have the battery pack on your belt instead of inside the lightgun it would free up space and you could have more power. With the extra power & space you could put a reasonably sized solenoid inside to act as a recoil.

    I think this is a great idea for re-using light guns, wonder if using a laser instead of an IR LED would help with getting higher accuracy at longer distances. It would also show you where your shot went.

    As well as running around shooting each other, if you’ve got nobody to shoot then a bunch of targets that randomly light up & become active would be fun.

  30. chad says:

    what would be really nice would be setting this up as a reverse-ir system. the “targets” put out the ir signal to be received by the “shots”. when you think in reverse, there is so much potential for your arduino/freescale/programmable-ic-of-choice to customize the game.

  31. NewHere says:

    I’m new here, but would love to see these weapons output a small electric shock to the “player” when they are “killed” or “shot” just to spice things up a little bit…

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