The good old days of summer holidays and running out shooting friends with Nerf guns. Why does life get less exciting as we get older? Britt Liv Ulrike Michelsen, a chemical and biological engineering student from Germany is taking the familiar concept of a nerf gun to the next level – sure to appeal to adults.
She has built the Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun. This gun uses a custom program and some servo motors to rain hell down upon its foes. The gun can locate targets and fire the foam darts at over seven times the usual speed, all while keeping the user out of the crosshairs of enemy players.
She designed the gun using some electronics and plywood. She has handled similar projects before, but this is certainly her most adventurous. The gun operates using an electric motor, so controlling the firing mechanism through a computer was easy. Michelsen made a stand from plywood and put servos under the gun so it could turn and tilt.
She put a 5kg firing spring into the Vulcan which meant it could fire at 90 m/s. The extra speed ensures that accuracy was improved. To supplement the spring, she also added a high voltage battery pack to raise the firing rate.
She downloaded an open source program by Bob Rudolph of Project Sentry Gun and put a webcam on front of the gun, so it was able to ‘see'. The webcam via the program, can lock onto movement, aim the gun and then fire while tracking.
Cleverly, the software can be programmed to stop firing when it sees a specific symbol. So if the person is wearing a team logo the gun will know not to fire, treating the person as a ‘friendly'.
The gun can accept a 100 round ammo belt which in theory could be enhanced to take more. The designer says the gun is very accurate and can predict a targets movement to aim more accurately. Manual control of the gun is also possible, via a gamepad or joystick connected to the computer hooked into the gun.[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C70R7oo4jMc']
Kitguru says: We think this is VERY cool and want one for the offices. Targeting the postman might be just as fun!