2017-09-15 EMF 2018 Collaboration Meeting

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Where / when: Nottinghack, studio; 2017-09-15 (Fri), 19:15 ish

Attendees: Ian D, Matt L, Daniel S, Mouse.



The obvious choices are optical: infra red or visible lasers.

  • The signal can/should be modulated somehow to send a little bit of data
    • Could just be some way to ensure light comes from a gun rather than some other light source
    • Could also include some unique ID for a specific gun, so targets may know who shot them
  • How do IR sensors respond to daylight? The targets will be in a marquee, but there may well be daylight flooding in, and they will be facing to the door / open section
  • We could try to get hold of some sort of Quasar-like system, or find an open source Quasar-like project to work from. For sure this already a solved problem

Possible target effects

  • Squirting water
  • Air vortex
  • Bubble machine
  • Smoke machine
  • Bell / clang
  • Tin can alley
  • Chicken house
  • Nerf gun (how to reload?)
  • Rumble / vibration
  • Spinning things
  • Play audio
  • Projector / game, e.g. Tetris
  • Jacob's ladder
  • Smoke machine?

Networked vs. standalone targets

Networking targets with RS485/HC12/other technology, pros:

  • Can have more sophisticated play
  • Can have per-player scores
  • Central brainbox can do things like tweeting etc, while keeping targets simple / cheap
  • Would want string isolation of target logic and effects (i.e. motors and other loads should be self-powered and create minimal noise on serial bus)

Beginnings of as basic target board

  • optical sensor
  • low-cost micro controller
  • place for relay
  • RS485 connection

When hit, these basic target boards would do some standardised action, like trigger the relay for 1 second. The isolated side of the relay would be connected to whatever mechanism the maker of the target needs to create an effect.

Case-study effects

We talked through how some effects might be implemented to see if that would fit with the basic target board concept...

Spinning tea-pot
  • basic target board connected to effect by relay
  • effect would have microcontroller + motor driver + motor + the physical teapot
  • relay would connect a pulled-up data pin to ground
  • arduino controls motor to spin teapot
  • triggering would be limited to one trigger per second or however long the target board takes to reset
  • arduino code would have to be able to re-trigger half way though performing the effect, and handle this gracefully
Water shooter

Thinking through how to implement the classic hillbilly rifle shooter

  • When hit, turns manikin towards shooters, squirts water at them, turns back
  • Might want to know WHICH gun shot it - would need to get ID of gun from RS485, so can't just be connected to relay
  • Could put it on the RS485 bus, listening for events from the right target and extracting gun ID from traffic
  • Projector / large screen with Tetris
  • Four targets perform spin and move operations
  • Would probably be implemented with an RPi
  • GPIO inputs from four separate relays, or could monitor RS485 traffic
  • Special combos might trigger extra effects (e.g. setting off a sub-set of the targets simultaneously)
  • Would require targets to be able to be triggered from central brainbox (i.e. over RS485)
  • Maybe all targets should be triggered from RS485