Nerf Vulcan Cleverly Hacked into Motion-Sensing Sentinel

By Sam Cook

Need a sentry here!

Make Magazine has announced the winners of its Gadget Freak Design Contest, and the grand prize went to a DIY project after your own squishy, orange heart. Rick Prescott's heat-seeking Nerf dart turret is equal parts awesome and terrifying, and more than enough to make you lay down your little 6-shot Maverick. In the eternal Great Office War, this man is not joking around.  

Nerf Vulcan EBF-25, the belt-fed, fully automatic dart cannon that mounts onto its own tripod. He added a Devantech TPA81 thermopile array to scan for targets in the room, a stepper motor and drive train to pan the the barrel toward its target, and an electronic trigger that bypasses the manual trigger. 
The whole rig is orchestrated by an Atmega168 micro controller, while aluminum sheet metal plates hold all the hardware and lock the tripod's tilt ability. The electronics are powered by a 7.2 amp hour seal rechargeable lead acid battery, so the Sentinel can be deployed almost anywhere--just like with the last Team Fortress 2 update!

detailed plans and instructions on his personal site. You can also watch the sentry in action here.

While it all makes for an impressive mod, I'm compelled to point out that Prescott didn't think of everything. Next time he should add a speaker and a creepy sing-song robot voice  to complete my Portal flashbacks.