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John Park retrospective: Auto Nerf Sentry Gun @arduino @nerfnation @johnedgarpark

Nerf Sentry

I love to take things apart and modify them. This automated Nerf Sentry Gun I made for Bay Area Maker Faire 2010 was one such project. There’s a lot of impressive engineering to appreciate and extend once you get inside and look around. Plus, this beast is big, loud, and fun.

Nerf Sentry trigger

Nerf Sentry trigger sketch Nerf Sentry trigger proto

I performed two major modifications to the Nerf gun: one, I adapted it to run from a DC power plug instead of batteries, and two, I wired the trigger to fire from an Arduino-controlled relay, unattended. (A transistor would make more sense, but I think this relay was all I had on hand!)

Nerf Sentry stand

I scratch-built a turret from 80/20 aluminum and created a motorized mount controlled by an Adafruit Motor Shield and Arduino for the otherwise static foam dart blaster. I then added an ultrasonic distance sensor and wrote an Arduino sketch to detect subjects that get just a little too close…

Nerf Sentry Ultrasonic

That’s when it stops sweeping and unleashes a hail of rubber-tipped darts at its unlucky target!

For detailed build notes, check out the full write-up here.


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