Active “Dart-Sensing” Makes Your Nerf Gun Smarter

When choosing weapons to defend yourself in the next zombie apocalypse, dart jamming whilst firing your Nerf Gun can be a deal-breaker. This clogging is an issue with many “semi-automatic” Nerf Guns. When our trigger-happy fingertips attempt to shoot a dart that hasn’t finished loading into the firing chamber, the halfway-loaded dart folds onto itself and jams the chamber from firing any more darts. The solution, as intended by Nerf, would be to open the chamber lid and manually clear the pathway. The solution, according to [Technician Gimmick], however, is active sensing, and the resulting “smart” dart gun is the TR-27 GRYPHON.

To prevent jamming from occurring altogether, [Technician Gimmick] added a trigger-disable until the dart has fully loaded into the firing chamber. An IR LED, harvested from a mouse scroll wheel, returns an analog value to the microcontroller’s analog-to-digital converter, allowing it to determine whether or not a dart is ready for firing. The implementation is simple, but the results are fantastic. No longer will any gun fire a dart until it has completely entered the chamber.

The TR-27 GRYPHON isn’t just a Nerf Gun that enables “smart” dart sensing. [Technician Gimmick] folded a number of other features into the Nerf Gun that makes it a charmer on the shelf. First, a hall-sensor array identifies the current cartridge loaded into the Nerf Gun and it’s carrying capacity. To display this value and decrement appropriately, [Technician Gimmick] added a dual-seven segment display, a trick we’ve seen before. Finally, a whopping 3S LiPo battery replaces the original alkaline batteries, and the voltage-reducing diodes have been cropped, enabling a full 12.6 Volt delivery to the motors at full charge.

We’re glad to see such a simple trick go such a long way as to almost entirely eliminate Nerf dart jams. For all those braving the Humans-Versus-Zombies frontier this season, may this clever trick keep you alive for just a bit longer.

5 thoughts on “Active “Dart-Sensing” Makes Your Nerf Gun Smarter

  1. “…open the chamber lid and manually clear the pathway”, I guess you can’t call it a breach in a Nerf gun can you? Reminds me of the clearing technique they teach for clearing a missfire in the M16/M4. And on that thought, I wonder if you could make a cartrige type nerf gun. Maybe each casing would have its own internal spring, or be individually comrpessed with air. The hard part would be making the casings and dart quickly reusable.
    Anyway, the clearing technique was a follows.
    Squeeze the trigger
    Pull, pull the charging handle
    Observe the breach/chamber for fragements, brass, or debris
    Release the charging handle
    Tap the bottom of the magazine
    Squeeze the trigger

    stove piped casings are easier to handle. Just sweep back with your off hand to knock them clear. Again, another problem not associated with Nerf guns.

    1. You could make a cartridge nerf gun that holds each dart in a plastic tube. Instead of a hammer mechanism an air chamber could seal to the back with a gasket. This could work like the belt-fed nerf gun but with magazines.

      1. You are correct. As for Polymath’s reference to the M16/M4, it’s a bit misplace as you don’t open a chamber lid as neither one has any. The closet equivalent would be a M249 (even though it’s an auto-fire weapon). You clear it by retracting the bolt, switching to safe, opening the loading chamber and sweeping all rounds out of it. Any stuck or jammed rounds would be extracted when the bolt retracts. Switch back to fire, “ride the bolt forward” (ease it forward gently), pull trigger to expend any round that was loaded. If no round is shot, the weapon is cleared. Then you can load up, and kick that pig. Aaahhh…. how I miss those 240Bs, M60s and M16s.

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