While the maker projects we feature on this site are usually relatively cheap and quick to make, it’s nice to look at something more robust, like this automated dartboard that took three years to complete.
Engineer and YouTube content creator Mark Rober, along with an ex-coworker from NASA, are the two to thank for this marvel. Their aim was to create an automated dartboard that could move to intercept a flying dart, ensuring that even the worst player could get a bullseye.
It works using a motion capture system courtesy of six Vicon cameras. They track the small dart thanks to retroreflectors stuck to it, taking 260 shots per seconds, all at 4K.
This feeds information into six different motors which move the board accordingly.
That’s how the project works right now but, as you’d imagine in a three-year project, it had some false starts.
The original motion capture system was a scratch-built effort using a NVIDIA Jetson TX1 board. After two years went into that endeavour, the team switch to a completed system from Vicon that gave them the desired results.
Make sure you give the full video below a watch for the rest of the details as well as some scenes of intoxicated bar goers being astounded by their new dart-based superpowers.