Target Shooting

Hi Team glad to join your group. I am not sure where to start, Our company would like to build a paintball shooter target that could turn from edge to face or popup when a motion sensor is activated, with the option of random activation? Basically the idea is that a person would be walking along a track and when they activate a motion sensor the target shows for a certain time and drops down after 20 secs or when it gets hit. Any ideas on how to start this would be appreciated. Paul


Hi Paul,

This sounds like an awesome project! I’d suggest working out the actuator/motor, the brains, and the sensors separately then combining the three.

First you need to consider what power sources you’ve got available and what will work. This is going to be a really high power but low energy application. Pneumatics are typically the gold standard for high speed in industry and you could run around and charge an accumulator for each target, but pressure vessels aren’t great sitting out in a field. Solenoids are a pretty good option too for high speed (think rail guns for how fast they can get). You can also use high force and lots of leverage to get you there as well - in which case a linear actuator might be a good option.

You could also use batteries and/or super-capacitors to get you the high instantaneous power output you need by pumping out current, without pushing the voltages dangerously high.

On the control side I’d suggest going for a microcontroller. The Arduino is the go to for beginners and we’ve got a really good online workshop to get you started:

As for motion sensors, you’re after a PIR sensor I expect, or you can also use distance sensors and when something comes in range use the change in distance reading to set off the target.

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