Target hunting UAV armed with fireworks

Don’t just build a UAV, use it to blow things up. In this case a tri-copter seeks out colored balloons and pops them using low-grade fireworks. We’ve seen this type of flying armament before, but not in a ‘copter form factor. It looks like the targeting and firing is done by an operator, and is not an automated system despite what the text overlays on the video after the break says. The lack of autonomous firing capability makes this delightful, rather than scary. Don’t miss the build log for the tri-copter itself. How do you think this one stacks up to the last 3-bladed build?

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UAV reigns down vengeance upon thee

An unemployed electrical engineer can be a very dangerous thing. [Cybrown] has turned his skills toward darker, more awesome applications by building an armed unmanned aerial vehicle. This is a remote control airplane that has a movable camera mounted in the cockpit. Video and GPS data are sent back to the pilot who views the picture via a wearable display. We’re betting this doesn’t have the range that the 100km UAV did, but that’s good because this one brings doom from the skies. Check the wings in the picture above, this RC is fireworks-enable. We’ve embedded flight footage and attack video after the break.

Update: Here is a forum post covering this nugget of awesome. There are just a few details but the entire thread is interesting. Someone pointed this out in the comments but they don’t get credit because they didn’t leave a link.

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Firework ignitors and controllers roundup

fireworks ignitor

With the 4th of July around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to give a controller wrap up and show you how to make some ignitors. Last year we covered a microcontroller based fireworks launcher. If you like the idea of a controller but don’t want to run all the wire, we have the wireless fireworks controller. Adding a little twist to the wireless scene are cell phone triggered fireworks. Maybe controllers are not your cup of tea, you could try to microwave your fireworks. After the break we show you how to make ignitors from a diode and a match.

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Cell phone triggered fireworks


[Mr. Hasselhoff] is using a disposable cell phone to trigger his fireworks. He has wired into the speaker leads for the speaker phone. When the phone rings, the current sets off a thyristor allowing for a battery pack to be discharged into a rocket fuse. These fuses heat up and ignite, so you can use them to light fireworks fuses pretty easily. This is pretty simple and cheap, considering the price of the cell phone was only $10. His next idea was to have it recognize dial tones and set individual fuses off, but that would require a microcontroller and a much more complex hack. At that point, you might as well just build a fully fledged wireless fireworks launching system and possibly add rocket launching abilities too.

[thanks Adam]

Microcontroller fireworks launcher

After being inspired by our previous posts on a microcontroller-powered missile launcher and the wireless fireworks controller, [Adam] at decided to build his own microcontroller launcher. He combined elements from each of the prior projects, and included some of the advice from the Hack a Day comments. His multi-rocket/fireworks launcher is configured with an Arduino Diecimila, and requires a whole boatload of batteries. [Adam] claims there’ll be another video at New Year’s of the microcontroller in action, which we’re definitely looking forward to watching.

Fourth of July extra

Today is the Fourth of July in the US, where we celebrate our freedom by blowing up a small portion of our country. Embedded above is [Jory] and [Jonathan] doing it wrong by microwaving their fireworks. We think a good formula for this year’s celebration is wireless fireworks control, gas powered blenders, and CHDK’s motion sensing to get the perfect firework photo… and if we get really bored we’ll probably shove some LEDs in a hotdog.

Wireless fireworks controller

[Tuckie] sent in his wireless fireworks controller. The electronic parts are off the shelf – a 12 channel relay board and remote provide the guts. He used a rock tumbler to mill the black powder needed to make the detonators. A combination of the fine ground black powder, nichrome wire and ping pong balls makes up the business end of each detonator. When a channel is selected with the remote, the relay is activated, current is sent to the detonator which is taped to the firework fuse.