Autonomous Paintball Sentry Gun

What is the best thing about making a computer program that targets and kills anything that enters its sight? Why giving it a weapon, of course! No, we are not talking for real, but the next best thing, an Autonomous Paintball Sentry Gun.

The autonomous part of the device comes from a pc on the sideline and is fed input though a standard webcam. The feed is ran though a processing script where, once accustomed to the background has the option to fire at anything it sees moving, or a nice point n click manual mode.

The Arduino part is in a the role of driving the servo motors for X/Y movement and a trigger and is powered by a fist full of D cell batteries to give plenty of time for fun. Also, be sure to check out our other sentry guns, one using Microchip PIC, and another sporting a super compact computer running Ubuntu

Nerf sentry turret

With exams behind him [Adam Greig] had time to make a Nerf sentry gun. It’s actually quite easy to pull everything together. He’s got a netbook running Motion, an open source motion sensing program for use with a webcam. When movement is detected an Arduino, connected via a USB cable, actuates a servo to pull the trigger of the gun. The turret itself has seen a battery upgrade that increases the firing speed. It’s fun to see hardware prototyping done with a few pencils and a fist full of cable ties. Check it out after the break.

This particular toy, the Nerf N-Strike Vulcan, has become quite a popular starting point for turrent projects. We’ve seen one that uses a motorized base, and another that was part of a final project at Cornell.

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Automated Paintball Sentry

Reader, [Ben Godding], sends in the video for his senior design team’s automated paintball sentry. The frame is made of plasma cut aluminum. The paintball gun uses a custom hopper mounted remotely from the gun body. It has two webcams offering a 160 degree field of vision, and the image processing is done by a dual core pentium CPU booting windows xp off a compact flash card. The computer interfaces with the 1/4scale RC servos using a PIC24. The paintball sentry can either be configured via a computer GUI when a monitor is available or a baclkit keypad and 4×20 charachter display in the field.

Related: [Jared Bouck]’s paintball gun turret

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.

Autonomous paintball sentry gun


[Alan] pointed out this great commercial paintball sentry gun. The gun has a low power motherboard running Ubuntu connected to a firewire camera. Two high torque motors control the pan and tilt of a Tippman 98 custom. The control box allows for easy setup. You can change the sensitivity, color tracking, and firing modes. It also has a remote kill switch. All around a nice looking machine, but at $3K we doubt many of you will be buying one. Beta test video embedded after the break.

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DefconBots sentry gun competition


DefconBots is returning again this year with their shooting gallery robot competition for Defcon 16. They’ve decided to leave the rules unchanged from last year. It’s a head to head competition between fully autonomous guns. The first gun to shoot all the targets on their side of the board wins. The rules aren’t very strict on design; as long as you use nonlethal nonmessy amunition and include a safety switch you’re pretty much good to go. The DefconBots site has a reference design to put you on the fast track to competing. Defcon 16 is August 8-10, 2008 in Las Vegas.

Related: [Aaron Rasmussen]’s sentry gun we covered back in 2005

[photo: Bre Pettis]