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.

Continue reading “Labor day weekend water gun spectacular”

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”