Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Robotics Idle

Student Makes Real-Life Portal Turret 91

lukehopewell1 writes "A Penn State robotics student has gone to the effort of building a working, automated turret from the video game series Portal. Powered by a webcam, Arduino boards and hacked up USB-missile launchers, this is one serious piece of kit that is just as adorable as its in-game counterpart. "

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Student Makes Real-Life Portal Turret

Comments Filter:
  • by ebunga ( 95613 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @11:55AM (#40006089) Homepage

    And it doesn't even fire the entire bullet.

  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by synapse7 ( 1075571 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @11:57AM (#40006117)
    All military gun turrets should have a seductive female voice enticing their targets.
  • Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scubamage ( 727538 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @11:58AM (#40006141)
    Great job kid! Keep it up and you could have an awesome job at the army corps of engineers, or at some other defense contractor. Great work.
    • by mblase ( 200735 )

      Great job kid! Keep it up and you could have an awesome job at the army corps of engineers, or at some other defense contractor. Great work.

      Um... did you know that the Army Corps of Engineers has almost nothing to do with defense contracts?

      • Really? I actually didn't know that. The last I heard about the army corps of engineers was that they were working on building herf guns (this was years ago) and had had one that they were demonstrating - blowing out computer monitors.
    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      Great work?!? All you have to do is not wear pink!
      • He left out the part where all the troups are being outfitted with paintball guns loaded with full of pink paint. This not only improves their stealth capabilities, but also reduces the weight they must carry.
    • by jtseng ( 4054 )

      He should send his resume to Weyland-Yutani - they might be hiring.

    • Great job kid! Keep it up and you could have an awesome job at the army corps of engineers, or at some other defense contractor. Great work.

      Or alternatively he could get a grown up job.

  • Whyyyyy? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:00PM (#40006159) Journal

    I don't blame you.

  • Mini-gun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sperbels ( 1008585 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:01PM (#40006171)
    I think a rubber band mini-gun would have been more suitable for this project. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7UIoYGSVoQ [youtube.com]
    • I was wondering if he would replicate the firing mechanism shown in the game, where bullets are loaded from a hopper and shot out using an electric firing mechanism (no powder required). Now that would be impressive.

  • control link lost default = kill anything that moves

  • The Defense Department? Homeland Security? The TSA? Or is Lockheed or Raytheon or BAE or some other defense contractor going to sue the kid into oblivion over patent infringement? Or for that matter, is Valve going to sue for "licensing" infringement?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Typically in the past Valve has ended up buying the devices from people and putting them in their lobby, They have full size TF2 Sentrys and a Portal Sentry but they do not actually fire things. All you have to do is search for them and you will get the pictures.

      • by zlives ( 2009072 )

        "Valve has ended up buying"
        license infringement that pays..!!!

        • by Ocker3 ( 1232550 )
          How much good-will does Valve generate from doing this (both from people who they buy them from, their friends, the people who see it in the lobby, their friends, and people who read about it, and Their friends), vs what piddling amounts of money they'd get for suing people, And the amount of good-will they'd Lose from doing that. Besides, who's making a living selling this kind of thing? It's not as if Valve is competing with these people and their products, it's an obvious synergy.
    • None. This isn't the first Slashdot story about a guy combining motion control and a weapon. I wish I could find the story, but at least 5 years ago, maybe more, some guy wired together a turret holding an automatic bb gun and motion sensing and control. And it was a lot smother and faster responding than this. It was kind of funny because he shot the shit out of his brother or friend or whoever it was halfway out in the back yard. It was a couple of bursts and then they stopped.
  • by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:07PM (#40006237) Homepage

    There's a GPS devices underneath his car now and $10 says his next flight he's gonna receive a complementary ass exam.

  • And? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:12PM (#40006295)

    Is this of special note because its slightly reminiscent of Portal? These guys put together an amazing tracking turret and stuffed it with paintballs:



    Its tracking and rate of fire is pretty terrifying, in fact. I don't see why it couldn't be sleeved to look like a Portal turret too and be way more impressive.

    • Really cool, but if you look at the vids on their site the hit rate seems pretty low.
    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      I wonder if you can replace the paintballs with ball bearings and use it as a form of home defense.





      (Getting around the filter error, filter error, filter error. Getting around the filter error, ear-lye in the morrrrrrnin'.)

    • I share you opinion that "making it look like Portal" does not add very much to what's already existing...

      Even in real life this kind of turret is not new : http://www.gizmag.com/korea-dodamm-super-aegis-autonomos-robot-gun-turret/17198/

      The only thing that make TFA interesting is that it was made "for cheap" using simple components and software. Not OSS though, wonder what OpenCV would do on this kind of project.

  • Needs a lot of work. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @12:12PM (#40006301) Homepage

    Tracking is really slow. it should be tracking so fast that you dont get the jerky motion.
    Add in predictive aiming and you have something that may get you a job for life working at a military contractor.

    • Provided you can persuade the to wear pink shirts.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I go to a Penn State branch campus. Considering that the main campus only gives each person $1000 and one semester to design and build their project, you cant say that this is not incredible! Yes it can certainly be better, but with the monetary and time restraints you can not argue with the final result!

      • it can certainly be better, but with the monetary and time restraints you can not argue with the final result!

        This is /. We can argue about anything...like the use of contractions or garamond is superior to times new roman.

        Watch...I'll get numerous replies telling me I'm an idiot for even suggesting garamond is a usable font.

        • by N!k0N ( 883435 )

          Watch...I'll get numerous replies telling me I'm an idiot for even suggesting garamond is a usable font.

          As requested, you're an idiot for even thinking that Garamond is "usable" in any way, shape, or form. You should really be using Times New Roman (or Helvetica, if you're concerned about the viewer's browser compatibility).

        • You fool!
          Everyone knows comic sans is the only legitimate font for mankind. I'm pretty sure the original bible used it.

    • by tibit ( 1762298 )

      That's what you get if you slap together a proof of concept. Matlab's image processing can run much faster than demonstrated here, even on modest hardware. It's an unfinished hack, yes.

    • by msobkow ( 48369 )

      I agree. Way back in 1988, one of my university cohorts developed image analysis and recognition software that would identify a target and paint a crosshair mid-torso. Of course in the age of the VAX 780, it was far from real-time processing. But given that even "slow" computers are over 1000 times as fast nowadays, there is absolutely no excuse for the apparent processing delays in this project. (It used to take an hour to do the analysis and paint the crosshair on a graphics terminal, so with 1000 ti

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )

        The '88 software didn't require any cheating like using a bright pink shirt so it would stand out from the background, either. It would track anything human-shaped that crossed it's path, and was "smart" enough to reject other 4-limbed creatures like cats or dogs.

        Rather than centering on "the pink blob", it used some interesting algorithms to build up a stick figure of the object, identify the torso stick, and aim for the middle of the torso stick.

        They had a lot of fun on that project. Pretty much ev

      • Python + OpenCV can detect a squirrel against a "natury" background in real time: Militarizing your backyard with Python [pyvideo.org].

  • While definitely cool project, I think there are better examples out there. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QcfZGDvHU8#t=16 [youtube.com] also shows an auto tracking turret with portal voices. However in this case the tracking seems quick enough to be useful, and it actually hurts people. Add some white plastic, and you're pretty close to the "real" deal.
  • and, skipping over the last word, was hoping that someone had made the Portal "gun" that shoots out working portals?

  • Nope. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scribblej ( 195445 )

    This looks as much like a portal turret as a stick figure looks like an actual human.

  • I've always enjoyed this one, which seems a bit less jerky than the portal turret (though the portal turret *looks* cool)

    http://projectsentrygun.rudolphlabs.com/ [rudolphlabs.com]

  • are currently under development. They will fire less-lethal rounds at any dogs, cats, or children who dare to trespass onto my lawn.

    http://left4dead.wikia.com/wiki/Gnome_Chompski [wikia.com]

  • Suddenly the Red and Blue teams of Team Fortress make more sense...
  • With artificial neural networks, stereoscopic vision, and a Nerf Vulcan you can:

    Shoot down an RC helicopter [youtube.com]
    Track and range a helicopter [youtube.com]
    And even compensate for bullet drop [youtube.com]
  • That added "?fb_ref=fb" isn't some tracking-token for Facebook, no?
    • by Elbart ( 1233584 )
      Oh yeah, I hope those guys have enough cash, showing the uTorrent-shortcut in the taskbar of the laptop is a nice way of asking for c&d-letters. ;)

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin