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.

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17 thoughts on “Automated Turret Gives You The Upper Hand In Office Warfare

  1. 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. 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.

    1. It probably can…

      Looking at the video it looks VERY much like they are using the AForge.NET framework.
      (Because the yellow circle looks exactly like the demo and the filters looks like they are the same too. Copy pasters! :D)

      It can also track glyphs and geometrical shapes.

      1. Then I guess it really wouldn’t take much to add face tracking. A bit of fourier transformations to turn a face into points and shapes, you’d have a turret that can’t be fooled by changing clothes.

    1. 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!!

    2. 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.

  3. 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.

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