DIY portal turret is… looking pretty good.

[Ryan Palser] wrote in to tell us about his Portal Turret. [Ryan] set about making this Portal 1 style turret by first carving a Styrofoam form, bondo and waxing then casting molds of the various components. Anyone interested in mold making (like us) should check out all the pictures and comments in the stream. The turret’s camera lens style eye has some excellent detail including a laser cut aperture with text inlay. A couple LEDs behind the eye assembly provide the signature red glow and evidently [Ryan] also fitted the little guy with a red laser. An internal Arduino (Incident Resolution Chip?) takes ques from a PIR sensor mounted in one of the turret’s arms to play one of 17 sound clips through a sparkfun MP3 player shield. In order to fight repetition the sound module runs through a playlist of the 17 tracks then shuffles it before playing through again. Theme music can also be spammed by pressing a button in the back of the motion sensing arm. The turret can be battery powered or plugged into a wall socket for constant operation. All that’s missing are the Aperture-Brand Resolution Pellets. We would love to see this integrated with some similar turret projects previously featured here.

Are you still there? We have more Aperture Science stuff including a Sentry Turret, Weighted Companion Cube, and even a portal shirt. If you are interested in more model making check out the spectacular Daft Punk helmet build from a little while back.


  1. Hackerspacer says:

    The only way to make this better would be to 3d print it.

  2. Hackius says:

    It’s huuuuge for a 3d print.

  3. patman2700 says:

    …now if only someone could hack up some spelling/grammar/syntax correction software for Hack-A-Day.

    Great hack, though. I’m quite jealous.

  4. dan fruzzetti says:

    What could a weapon fire that has little tiny legs like that? A cutting laser? Any recoil at all will bounce it around and mess up its aim.

  5. Can it move?

  6. Me says:

    Can it shoot?

  7. Hackerspacer says:

    Last time I checked, the entire inside was full of bullets. And it fires the case and the bullet at the same time.

  8. Nomad says:

    I’d love to see some steppers or servos inside it that move the arms just like in the “real” version

  9. Paul says:

    @dan fruzetti – It fires bullets, in fact it fires the WHOLE bullet.

    I really want to make one of these. I am about to check out the article, but he should an accelerometer and play the “pickup” and “drop” sound affects if the turret is moved around.

  10. Rob says:

    This looks great. Good work on the skin.
    I really want a companion cube made in similar style. Considering doing similar style to this build, but I lack experience.
    Probably be willing to pay around $250 for one though.

  11. The firing mechanism is supposed to take care of that…by firing the whole bullet, thats 65% more bullet per bullet!

  12. Me says:

    How did they come up with that number 65%?

  13. Maave says:

    @dan fruzzetti
    A counter-recoil system in the gun would be able to reduce the shock of any round considerably. If you can’t get one then .22s are certainly weak enough to fire without jostling the turret.

  14. jeditalian says:

    what’s a “sheild”?
    that is amazing craftsmanship.

  15. Squirrel says:

    @jeditalian basically the arduino hardware equivalent of an iphone app.

    que –> cue

  16. Shadyman says:

    Requisite. NSFW Language, but totally worth it.

  17. strider_mt2k says:

    I don’t blame them…

  18. pascal says:

    awesome. I toyed around with some CAD software and touched up the Portal 1 model, but arrived at some problems with the impossible mechanics. (when the doors are closed there’s just 2cm of space in the middle…) They seem to have become more realistic in Portal 2, but I can’t get the models to open, without the SDK…

  19. clb92 says:

    I love the Portal 2 reference in the headline :P

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