Automated turret gives you the upper hand in office warfare


When your co-workers get on your nerves, the mature recourse is to be the bigger person and simply ignore the obnoxious individual. A team of engineers from TI show us a slightly alternative means of dealing with office mates which is not quite as mature, though far more entertaining.

The office toy cum mechanized weapons system relies on a TI MSP430 LaunchPad, coupled with a custom Turret430 breakout board. The former is the brains of the operation, while the latter houses motor drivers for the motorized turret. The system can be steered throughout its 300 degree range of rotation using an attached joystick, but in the interest of catching their target by surprise, they added an automated mode as well. The automated targeting system uses an attached webcam to pick out victims by the color of their clothing, which seems to work pretty well.

To see the system in action, check out the video embedded below.


  1. RobinJood says:

    I have the same model of logitech webcam. You can strip it down to a tiny pinhole camera just by removing a couple of screws and snapping a final bit of plastic.

    It doesn’t have a lens cover in the first place so nothing lost there.

  2. Rollyn01 says:

    Uhhh… shouldn’t that say “cam”? I mean, we don’t want to give people the wrong idea.

    Aside from that, love the auto tracking system. I wonder if it can be set to track certain patterns of colors.

  3. Tracking says:

    Don’t be such a hater the circles are a function in openCV !

  4. Destate9 says:

    Ummmm… typo…

  5. cde says:

    It makes no mention why the zigbee is needed.

    • Rollyn01 says:

      Probably to use wifi for remote attacks. Just have it sitting there and as soon as that annoyance comes in… pic pic pic. “Who did that?” Close your window and act like you was working. How are they going to know? You was three cubes over… Muuhaha!!

    • GatorEng says:

      The ZigBee is needed to transfer the control signals from the PC which is running OpenCV to the turret430 Boosterpack to move the turret. The PC communicates to the turret via the ZigBee wireless module.

  6. Waffles says:

    I have one of those turrets laying around the lab, now I know what to do with it to even be more annoying to the coworkers. PERFECT!

  7. thevac says:

    you guys got a typo a bad one

  8. Anon says:

    No, they don’t have a typo.

    Cum: Used in indicating a thing with two roles, functions, or natures, or a thing that has changed from one to another.

    It’s pronounced “coom”, almost.

  9. GatorEng says:

    Guess they never graduated “cum laude”, which translates to “with honor”.

  10. mbear says:

    The good stuff starts at 0:38.

  11. Can u update ur post cause the video has been deleted =D…

  12. =)… its me again, just wondering if this project its dead… cause i love the idea and wanna try that one, but the sources are lost or dead, so if you can upload a copy will be really helpful =D.. cheers

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