[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.
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]
[Mr G] in London sent in his pin sentry hack. He wasn’t pleased that the device looks like an old calculator, so he rigged up a SMS board to send him his pin on demand. He multiplexed the output of the display driver to the SMS board. When he authenticates from his phone, the board sends a message with the latest code.
Reader [aaron rasmussen] and his brother Ezra built this awesome robotic sentry gun. The gun is an airsoft replica of an FN P90 and fires 6mm BBs. Pan and tilt are controlled by two hobby servos using a simple controller. Aaron wrote custom software to watch the usb webcam and track targets. There is a video on the site of it being tested
Office warfare has just been stepped up a notch and it’s time to hide in your cubicles! Enter the Rubber Band Blaster-32, a fully automatic rubber band handgun with switchable barrels for quick reloading.
It features a unique trigger release design that we haven’t seen before. By using a pull string release, [Dave] the inventor was able to load multiple rubber bands per barrel for individual firing, one by one. Hold down the trigger and as the firing wheel spins up, you can start shooting up to 10 rounds a second!
According to [Dave], reload time is around a minute per barrel, but the barrels can be stored loaded and ready to go, so pack a few mags and hang out behind the water cooler. That’s the last time [Bill] from accounting steals my stapler!
To see this puppy in action, sit tight after the break!
[Brittliv] made the mistake of getting her friends into Nerf weaponry, and so began the race to mutually secured destruction via foam darts. She may have the upper hand in this war, because her Nerf Vulcan sentry gun is both incredibly powerful and is able to be operated autonomously with a webcam featuring a friend or foe identification system.
The azimuth and elevation mount for the gun is made out of plywood, with each axis controlled by a single servo attached to an Arduino. Of course a stock Nerf gun would be fairly boring, so [BrittLiv] increased both the voltage going to the gun’s motor and the strength of the gun by replacing a 2kg spring with a 5kg spring.
Targets are tracked with a webcam using Processing and a bit of code from Project Sentry Gun. One interesting feature is a friend or foe tracking system; if the gun sees someone wearing a t-shirt with the Instructables logo, the target is identified as a friend and is not brutally mowed down with plastic darts.
We see a lot of microcontroller based hacks around here, and it’s not hard to see why learning how to use microcontrollers is valuable to prospective engineeer. Unfortunately, microcontroller courses are dreaded by students since they focus on theory instead of application. In The First Lecure, [Colin] talks to a class of engineering students about how to get practical with microcontrollers.
He starts with an overview of a bomb countdown project that he used to learn the basics of microcontrollers. This started as a 555 based timer, but he ended up using a PIC18 after having issues with timing and reliability. Next, he discusses a paintball sentry gun inspired by a Hackaday post. He finishes off some advice and gives the students some hardware: a Pickit2 programmer and a Saleae Logic Analyzer.
It’s easy to lose motivation due to the heavy focus on theory in engineering. [Colin]‘s advice to start building stuff will hopefully motivate these students to take an interest in microcontrollers. We also like how he advises students to read Hackaday. Check out the full video of the lecture after the break.