A Capable Nerf Launcher Robot

Nerf blasters are fun to play with, and it’s now possible to even get robotic Nerf launchers you can use to chase around your friends. [Engineering After Hours] wasn’t satisfied with the official hardware, though, so built his own remote control Nerf rig to battle it out in the back yard.

The rig is built around an earlier build from [Engineering After Hours], a skid-steer RC chassis that is nice and tough to handle rough and tumble driving. It’s paired with a trailer attached to the center of rotation of the chassis that makes the pair highly maneuverable.

In order to launch rockets, an air tank on the trailer is hooked up to some piping to launch four Nerf rockets. Charged up to just 40 psi, it’s capable of launching the rounds with plenty of power for play purposes. Paired with a elevation control and a servo to trigger the firing valve, it’s a complete system that can shoot on the go.

It’s a fun build that packs a punch, even if it doesn’t quite have the accuracy or range you might desire in an all-conquering Nerf combat platform.  We’d love to see a similar build hooked up to some AI smarts to stalk targets independently of human control. Video after the break.

5 thoughts on “A Capable Nerf Launcher Robot

    1. Not all projects need to be mind boggling. If you want to have a lively hacker community some decades from now, you better make sure to not look down on projects that are too simple for your liking. Keep the entry path open or you will end up with a bunch of grumpy old men complaining about how the hobby is dying.


    2. What is to complain about here – its way more than the most basic it could be to function- that is just strap the cannon fixed on top of the driving platform and even that would be fun… Instead its got elevation control, a really niftly looking ball linkage – which personally I didn’t know existed in such scale, seems to work really quite well and looks really neat in the process.

      Sure had I been making it for myself I’d have wanted to have two actuator arms on the elevation control – so you get some traverse out of them too. I’d have given the trailer really long travel rather soft suspension and a skid plate at the back (soft because you want the massive nerf launchers inertia to keep the trailers orientation 99% of the time so it can fire more where you wanted even over bumpy terrain, but with a skid plate so the bulk of the trailer will be protected when that soft suspension proves a little too soft). I’d probably have put a Kinect or Pi with camera for target finding and ranging – maybe even autonomous navigation. For me I’d rather it sequentially fired rather than acting like artillery (though with the accuracy those darts have perhaps you need to launch more than one to have any hope of hitting).

      But all that is suddenly making the project a much bigger challenge, even if you already are a master of all those elements its still much more time and effort to make, and really not needed for mucking around – its a fun toy – education for his kids as much as anything else it seems to me – it doesn’t need to be stupendously well engineered, just good enough to enjoy safely.

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