John Park retrospective: Auto Nerf Sentry Gun @arduino @nerfnation @johnedgarpark
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.
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!)
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…
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.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.