Motion Activated Super-Squirter Stands Guard

Thieves beware. If you prowl around [Matthew Gaber]’s place, you get soaked by his motion activated super-squirter. Even if he’s not at home, he can aim and fire it remotely using an iPhone app. And for the record, a camera saves photos of your wetted-self to an SD card.

ESPino, ArduCAM UNO and voltage converter boards
ESPino, ArduCAM UNO and voltage converter boards

The whole security system is handled by three subsystems for target acquisition, photo documentation, and communications. The first subsystem is centered around an ESPino which utilizes a PIR sensor to detect motion. It then turns on a windscreen washer pump and uses pan and tilt servos to squirt water in a pattern toward the victim.

The target acquisition hardware also sends a message to the second subsystem, an ArduCAM ESP8266 UNO board. It takes a burst of photos using an ArduCAM Mini Camera mounted beside the squirter outlet. The UNO can also serve up a webpage with a collection of the photos.

The final subsystem is an iPhone app which talks to both the ESPino and the UNO board. It can remotely control the squirter and provide a video feed of what the camera sees.

One detail of the build we really enjoyed is the vacuum relief valve he fabricated himself. It prevents siphoning through the pump when it’s not on. Don’t miss a demo of the squirter in action after the break.

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Labor day weekend water gun spectacular

In the US, summer is marked by two holidays. In late May, Memorial day traditionally marks the the beginning of summer, the opening of public pools, and the day shopping malls are invaded by scores of petulant teenagers. In early September, Labor day marks the traditional end of summer, a great weekend to fire up the grill, and finally – finally – an end to the neighborhood kids screaming their heads off outside. Being Labor day weekend, we were very happy to see two builds show up in the tip jar concerning the one object that defines summer: water guns.

Homemade Super Soaker

[Michael] had the genius idea of building a water gun out of a diaphragm expansion tank (German, here’s the terrible translation). These tanks – usually connected to a house’s hot water line near the hot water heater – allow for the expansion of hot water and protects pipes from excessive pressure. It does this with a rubber membrane separating the inside the tank into two halves. Half the tank is filled with water while the other half is filled with compressed air from a bicycle pump.

[Michael] connected a hose and made a nice gun out of aluminum pipe to build the ‘gun’ part of his build. With 9 bar of pressure in the expansion tank, [Michael] can shoot a stream of water 20 meters.

Water gun turret with a laser sight

This build comes from [Valentin]. He picked up a automobile water pump for just a few Euros, and attached it to a 1 liter bottle filled with water. A pan/tilt turret was constructed out of CNC milled aluminum and a pair of servos.

After [Valentin] got the water-shooting turret part of the build out of the way, he installed a 2.4 GHz wireless camera on the pan/tilt mount and taped a receiver to the back of his remote control.

The addition of a small LCD screen displaying the turret’s point of view makes for a very cool build, perfect for pestering those annoying neighborhood kids.

Video of [Valentin]’s build after the break.

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Birdwatching Meets a Computer-Controlled Water Cannon, Awesomeness Ensues

squirrel turret

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”