Introducing the Nerf Sentry Gun, created by Cornell University students Jeremy Blum and Jason Wright, in 2009. Blum and Wright submitted this tricked out Nerf gun as their final project for their CS1114 Matlab Robotics class. Not only did this duo pass their course, their professor awarded them with the :coolest final project.”
This one-of-a-kind Nerf gun began as an off-the-shelf Nerf Vulcan Automated Rifle. The duo then began to rebuild the gun, and develop a software system that would help anyone win his or her next Nerf battle. Their elaborate toy gun features a motion-sensing camera, trigger and barrel movement control, as well as facial recognition software.
The partners opened the plastic case of the gun and added multiple circuit boards, enabling the gun’s fine motor skills. They moved the internal battery pack to be external, thus reducing the overall weight for the motor controlling the gun’s movement. The webcam is able to track the movement of the target, directing the gun to move both vertically and horizontally. Using facial recognition software, the camera is also able to differentiate between a moving object and a human. The software is also capable of working in a manual mode where the user presses the arrow keys of the computer to direct the gun.
This unique weapon is also capable of acting as a gate guard. The duo demonstrated this capability when one approached the gun. The gun demanded, “present badge.” The young man showed his physics textbook to the gun, programmed as the ‘badge’, and the gun responded, “access granted.” Next, the other partner approached the gun without the ‘badge’. The gun identified this individual as the intruder and opened fire with its foam bullets. The gun also features a panic mode, blaring a loud siren to ward off an intruder. They humbly explained that the software is very rudimentary and that they may have stolen a napkin holder or two, from the dining hall to use in place of a gun stand. No matter how much the creators may downplay their work, this is easily the most outrageous Nerf gun you probably wish you had when you were a kid.
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