Paintball / Airsoft Sentry Gun – Liability For Real Weapon Applications?

This software is designed to automatically detect, track and anticipate moving targets so that a robotic turret, powered by off-the-shelf hobby servos, can accurately engage them. The turret can be bought or built to aim a paintball gun, second video/still image camera, airsoft gun, water gun, nerf gun, laser, etc…

Source – The Sentry Project

Check out the video:


Very cool idea, and setup.  Seems like the software and hardware could use a bit of work when it comes to stability, speed, and accurate targeting… judging by the company’s website, the programmer is hard at work on software upgrades.

The total cost for this rig (minus the laptop and gun) is $250

My only question is, how long until someone pops a real gun into that rig and causes some major damage?

Seems like a huge liability considering the way you fire a toy gun and a real gun is pretty much identical.  The only thing that would likely need to be upgraded is the strength of the turret, because of the increased recoil it would need to withstand.

If you buy one of these please don’t hook it up to a computer labeled “HAL 9000” :P

Hat Tip: SayUncle


42 responses to “Paintball / Airsoft Sentry Gun – Liability For Real Weapon Applications?”

  1. So long as they keep it clear of any HAL computers like you said, and don’t sell the rights to some company called “Skynet” we should be ok.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Ahhhh skynet, yea we don’t want it in their hands either! :P

      1. will f Avatar

        do you sell the rc turrets.and can you sell the airsoft/paintball turrets on your website pleasse

  2. You gotta hand it to the guy for being innovative. There is some thinking and programming that goes into this. Liability – sure. grin factor – huge when I saw the vid.

  3. snoopycomputer Avatar

    If a kid in his backyard has developed this which works pretty well on its own for its intended use- why has a major weapons developer not done the same thing?
    The software programing would likely be a lot easier if the camera you’re using is a FLIR imager. “Shoot anything hotter than ‘X’”

    1. They have. I’ve seen plenty of automated weapons that are being sold for the past few years and some are currently in use in iraq/ect…

      1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
        Admin (Mike)

        Yea a lot exist, but they aren’t anywhere near $250!

        1. Of course, once the government gets a hold of it they add on a few more 0’s to that price.

  4. SPC Fish Avatar

    the military has these. but doesnt like using them.

    and that thing would dominate in a paintball game. you could have a section of land totallt blocked.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Yea, the one downside is that everyone would be trying to destroy it in the paintball game! He should build some sort of shield around it with a deactivation target or something.

      1. That, and there’s no way to keep it from overshooting the other team. Paintball’s still just a game, blasting ten year olds all to hell would really kill off our next generation of players. Now, if there is some way for the programing to confirm hits and confirm that the guy is heading for the dead box, then I’ll have a check in the mail to this guy with a quickness.

        Love the Portal quotes too. Heh.

  5. WOW, Won me over right off the bat, when he first activated it and it used the “I see you” track from Portal Sentries. Creative. (Yea, ok, Im a gaming geek)

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      haha awesome, thanks for the link. I had no idea where those sounds came from in his video.. I figured it was maybe I movie I had not seen. Now I know.

      1. The cake is a lie!

  6. Bryan S. Avatar

    The liability has been talked about very much as these pop up from time to time in the paintball world. Even in a game it wouldnt be fun, nor safe, as it could not tell the difference between players, refferees, safety personell, or injured people.

    I figure that in order to use a real firearm, you would not only need to beef up the frame, but the motors to handle forces one them as well, adn add a way to actuate the trigger, as I figure this unit fires by direct interface with teh paintball gun control board, which has each shot actuated by software command.

    Metal storm this is not;)

    1. The PB gun had an E-trigger or something, it was firing on automatic instead of semi. One of the videos has a good look at the trigger servos.

      1. Bryan S Avatar

        The 2 i saw looked to be a Smart Parts Ion and perhaps a PMP or Eclipse gun of some sort, both definatly electronic guns. I would wonder if the mount could handle the moving mass that some non electronic guns have.

        Both the videos show a solenoid operated spool valve gun (Ion) or ram activated poppet valve gun(other vid with silver gun)

        And most of those guns shoot fast enough form normal activation that they seem to be full auto. When you can reach 20 balls per second, (only about 12 if you actually pulled the trigger for each shot) no matter what, it looks like FA.

        1. Thanks, don’t know much about anything other than Tippmans, and the only way I know to get those to FA is with an E-trigger. Can get close with an RT, but only with a human and practice.

          Than again, I’m just starting on the PB world, so take it WAGOS.

  7. Booby traps are illegal, you can’t use deadly force to protect property when you aren’t there. Every year you hear of some homeowner or business owner going to jail b/c they killed a burglar with a man trap. Now if you somehow set this up and only had it running when they were at the site and lived in a castle doctrine state like Texas, you MIGHT get away with shooting a would be attacker, but I don’t think a jury is going to look kindly upon it. The tech is still in its infancy, even for the military, South Korea has poured millions into working with Samsung for years to come up with automated guard robots for the DMZ that could engage North Korean sappers, but so far with little luck b/c of false positives, its hard to 100% identify friendly troops and they can be tricked in various ways even when using FLIR and night vision. For a youtube video stunt and yucking it up with your paintball buddies it might be fun, but I’ll stick with the mark-1 eyeball and my own trigger finger instead.

    1. Ohio Sean Said:

      “Booby traps are illegal, you can’t use deadly force to protect property when you aren’t there. Every year you hear of some homeowner or business owner going to jail b/c they killed a burglar with a man trap.”

      Well put. I remember years ago, an older gent who had a store that was repeatedly burgled after hours. I believe they kept hacking thru the roof. So he set up an electrified grate/mesh in a previous opened hole in the false ceiling. Yep he fried a teenage kid a few days later. I do believe he eventually got off, but it was an ugly hard fought court battle to do so. I do believe the kin of the deceased went after him civilly after criminal proceedings were over.

      It was on national news for awhile.

      1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
        Admin (Mike)

        I see nothing at all wrong with frying a criminal, or having a sentry shoot one. But rules are rules I suppose. It’s not worth going to jail over.

        1. Right and wrong and justice have been absent from the system from time to time.

          1. The problem is that “property” under law cannot be protected. If someone comes on your land and steals you car, but has no weapon and isn’t posing a threat to you, in my state my only recourse is to ask him to stop and/or call 911. If I pull a gun on him, he can charge me with criminal and civil charges, even though he was stealing my car out of my driveway.
            Its pretty damn ridiculous the way they right these laws.

            1. Damn, that’s $hitty. I need to check my laws an stuff. I have a “bad habit” of going with my guy on these things.

    2. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Thats neat about the south/north korea application… I can imagine like you said it would be hard to 100% identify good from bad, and when it comes to a human life that’s not a gamble I’d want to take if there is a margin for error.

  8. I totally need this to keep the cats and other pest out of my garden.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Yea that would be a really good application!

    2. I love cats…they go great with mustard.

      1. Don’t forget, 4 drumsticks! :)

    3. Bryan S Avatar

      They make a sprinkler type system called the Scarecrow, just what you need.

      1. I have a ‘Scarecrow’ I tried using on raccoons that were digging up my turf. They enjoyed the bath. This was after using chili powder, which just made the grubs they were digging up more tasty.

        Can’t say I was overly impressed with it. Need something with a little more kick to it.

        1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
          Admin (Mike)

          This was after using chili powder, which just made the grubs they were digging up more tasty.


  9. I’ve been following this guy’s development for awhile now. He’s really come along way since the last time I checked in. Very impressive.

    The concerns with putting a real gun on this thing… hmm… Like Bryan S. said, you’d have to beef up the frame and servos something fierce. I mean, he’s got a little half-pound airsoft gun in that thing with negligible recoil. Even a light .380 would challenge the most stalwart of home-hobby servos – it might work exactly once, then you’d be picking up turret pieces. Not to say larger servos couldn’t be found/made.

    I was more interested in this system for photographic shooting. High Definition video surveillance cameras are just now coming out, are expensive as heck ($3k+), and consume considerable bandwidth/hard-drive space when in use.

    Instead of HD, which is mostly limited to 720p (1M pixel) or 1080p (2M pixel) at best, slap a 10M pixel camera ($200) on the turret, and record the SD + 1 10Mpix picture per second. You’d get the basic motion concept of what was going on from the SD source, and all the detail you’d ever want from the still photos.

    There have been some advancements in video processing technology that even having 1 high-res picture every 5-10 seconds (as long as the subject area doesn’t change much) can make SD video look like HD or better.

    An additional plus – cameras don’t have recoil. :)

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Awesome idea Dave… that would be pretty neat for home security. I’d definitely want a durable enclosure though so thieves couldn’t smash or steal the camera!

      1. Ooh, yeah awesome idea. Be a good way to save recording space until something happens, of couse it’s up to the people there to take care of themselves when something happens, and you can always run a cable to a safe or internet connection for the storage. I hope this guy has a card for a good patent lawyer, because this is a pretty kick ass project.

        Could cut hardware costs on stations down, storage costs down, etc.

        I wish I was this smart. :)

        As for the crazy that wants to run a shooting spree from remote, eventually they’ll think of it. Any ideas for countermeasures? If the good guys are working on this first, maybe we can head this off before any silly .fed regs F up everything for everyone else.

  10. I bet a large trailcam company would have a 100% functional, 360 degree motion sensor HD cam, weather-proof unit for under $500 … “Mil-Spec” … $25,000.

    My grandpa once asked me what an elephant was, I said big animal, trunk, tusks, small tail, thousands of pounds … He said nope, it’s a mouse built to .gov specifications.

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      it’s a mouse built to .gov specifications.

      What a great line!

  11. christopher Avatar

    I’m offended HAL-9000 is the name of my computer

  12. that’s awesome !!!!!! I look at some others for sale and they are like $650 .is there frre shipping

  13. that’s awesome !!!!!! I look at some others for sale and they are like $650 .is there free shipping

  14. Hello can this turit Handel a hand gun with blanks and can it be atached to a cell phone instead of a computer and have a speaker atatched yellinng next time i wont miss if it will i will buy it now for in home use for intt intruders. Might get my house shrouded but more fun for me.