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.
Continue reading “Automated turret gives you the upper hand in office warfare”
Sure, squirrels may bother the average home owner, but few have attempted as creative a way to control them as this automated water turret. Check out the video after the break to see how this was accomplished, but if you’d rather just see how the squirrels reacted to getting squirted, fast forward to around 16:00. According to [Kurt] he was sure this would be his solution, however, his conclusion was that “squirrels don’t care.”
As for the presentation, it’s more about how to use [OpenCV], or Open Source Computer Vision. It’s quite a powerful piece of software, especially considering that something like this would cost thousands of dollars in a normal market. An Arduino is used to interface the computer’s outputs to the real world and control a squirt gun. If you’d rather not program something like this yourself, you could always simply use a garden hose as someone suggests just after the video. Continue reading “Birdwatching Meets a Computer-Controlled Water Cannon, Awesomeness Ensues”
[Andrew] and his brother had some time (and a lot of ping pong balls) on their hands, so they decided to have some fun and built a remote-controlled ping pong ball turret.
Arduino aside, the turret is cheap and easy to build as [Andrew’s] writeup explains. The firing mechanism was constructed using a pair of foam wheels and motors, which is used to launch the ping pong balls much like a baseball pitching machine. The balls are stored above the wheels in a cardboard tube and released by a mechanical flap when triggered.
When [Andrew] is ready to release the turret’s payload, he sends a command to his computer over VNC, which relays the command to the Arduino over a serial connection, triggering the flap. While the control scheme could certainly benefit from direct, wireless phone-to-Arduino communications, it seems to work well enough for [Andrew’s] needs.
Check out the video dramatization below to see [Andrew] “surprise” his brother with a hail of ping pong balls after the jump.
Continue reading “Rapid fire, remote controlled ping pong ball turret”
The guys from the House4Hack hackerspace in Johannesburg won the 2011 Google+ Hackathon with their Friggin’ Laser Turret. The build started off as a remote-controlled webcam that can be controlled by anyone in a Google+ hangout. On a whim, the team decided to add a laser to the build because lasers are awesome.
The inspiration for the build was to have a Google+ hangout available whenever someone is at the hackerspace. If a guest can’t grace the team with their physical presence, at least they can be there virtually. The camera is controlled by an Arduino running a bog-standard servo library implementation. The Arduino is connected to a laptop over a serial connection and is able to move left and right. To spice things up a little, the team added a 25mA laser diode to the build controlled from a digital output on the Arduino.
For winning the Jo’burg Google+ Hackathon, the guys scored themselves a Samsung Galaxy S II phone. Not a bad prize for building something cool. Check out the demo of the friggin’ laser turret after the break.
Continue reading “Google Hangout laser turret”
If there were a contest for the most thorough step-by-step project log [Kurt] would the champion. He recently a posted 150 step build log for his fleece-covered Portal turret project. If you can get over the need to click-through 30 pages of steps, there’s a lot to like about this project.
First, what it doesn’t do: The Turret doesn’t split up the middle and fire bullets at you. This is a relief, but the fact that it’s not lethal doesn’t mean it just sits there looking interesting. It can detect movement, it knows when you pick it up, and it can tell when it’s been knocked over. All of these interactive sensory inputs are used to playback various sound bytes from the Portal games, making it a great piece of desk art for those working in geek-centric offices. See for yourself in the video after the break.
The body itself is a food storage container which houses the barebones Arduino and Adafruit Wav shield. As near as we can tell, a PIR sensor detects movement, and leaf switches on the legs tell it when it’s been picked up or tipped over. But we only made a cursor examination of the assembly steps so we might be missing something.
If you’re not into the turrets, maybe this potato is more up your alley.
Continue reading “Build your own Portal turret in 150 easy steps”
[Ryan Palser] wrote in to tell us about his Portal Turret. [Ryan] set about making this Portal 1 style turret by first carving a Styrofoam form, bondo and waxing then casting molds of the various components. Anyone interested in mold making (like us) should check out all the pictures and comments in the stream. The turret’s camera lens style eye has some excellent detail including a laser cut aperture with text inlay. A couple LEDs behind the eye assembly provide the signature red glow and evidently [Ryan] also fitted the little guy with a red laser. An internal Arduino (Incident Resolution Chip?) takes ques from a PIR sensor mounted in one of the turret’s arms to play one of 17 sound clips through a sparkfun MP3 player shield. In order to fight repetition the sound module runs through a playlist of the 17 tracks then shuffles it before playing through again. Theme music can also be spammed by pressing a button in the back of the motion sensing arm. The turret can be battery powered or plugged into a wall socket for constant operation. All that’s missing are the Aperture-Brand Resolution Pellets. We would love to see this integrated with some similar turret projects previously featured here.
Are you still there? We have more Aperture Science stuff including a Sentry Turret, Weighted Companion Cube, and even a portal shirt. If you are interested in more model making check out the spectacular Daft Punk helmet build from a little while back.
As many of you are probably aware, Portal 2 was released last week, and gamers have been going crazy over it. Over the years, people have constructed replicas of their favorite in-game items and “characters”, including portal guns, companion cubes, and turrets.
After playing Portal 2 for a bit, [Jonathan] wanted a turret of his own quite badly. Rather than construct it from hard plastics and resins however, he decided he wanted to construct a cuddly turret that talked.
With the assistance of his friend [Leigh Nunan], he is now the proud owner of a plushie turret. It’s a bit smaller than you might expect, but it is packed full of turret personality. The plushie plays audio from the game, can sense motion near its face, detect if it has been tipped over, and also knows when it has been picked up. [Jonathan] added all of these features by stuffing an Arduino inside the turret, along with a wave shield for playing sounds. Proximity and motion sensing are provided via a trio of different sensors, enabling the turret to behave in the same way its in-game brethren do (minus the machine guns).
It really is a neat little toy, one we would no doubt be glad to have around. Keep reading to see a short video of his plushie turret in action.
Continue reading “Portal turret plushie is cute and harmless”