Web Controlled Paintball Gun

About a year or so ago we had a sort of “challenge” at work…they provided Arduino and Raspberry Pi’s and we had to come up with a cool way to use them.

I had seen some stuff on the web about an automated paintball sentry gun, but I wanted to go a step further and use the interwebs as a way to control it.  So I built an app in nodeJS, stuck it on a Raspberry Pi, hooked up some servos to an Arduino, built a stand and frame for the paintball gun and the result is what you see below.

My son decided he wanted to be the guinea pig so he donned some gear and ran around.  Near the end of the video you’ll hear a “pop”…that’s him taking one on the helmet 🙂

I also gave it the ability to use the tilt-control to allow for aiming of the gun, however it requires a REALLY steady hand.  The video below shows a rudimentary interface that allows you to use a smartphone to control it via the internet.

We took it a step further and said “what if?”  What if we could leverage social media to give people the ability to interact and control it?  We decided it would be really cool to create a t-shirt cannon than is pre-programmed with coordinates and then allow people to vote via hastags on Twitter to decide where it is aimed.  We built the cannon but did not have the time or budget to build the frame and other hardware necessary, so we built it using the paintball gun since we already had that available. The tests were pretty cool, but unfortunately there is no video of it.

The video below is a test of the homemade t-shirt cannon made from PVC.

Note:  The thumbnail is sideways, but the video plays correctly 🙂