dark side

Connected Nerf gun target


IOT: Nerf

Group project with:

Apoorva Shenoy

Cheng- Hsiang Yang



The intent of this project was to learn the new platforms like Particle and Amazon Alexa for developing for IOT devices. While playing with the Nerf guns lying around the studio, we came up with the idea of making a connected Nerf target that would automatically calculate users' score and publish it online with their name to a scoreboard.

We used acrylic sheet to make the target since it turned out working perfectly with the vacuum Nerf bullets. We also put LED strips and a big four digit 7-segment display scoreboard to give instant feedback to the user when s/he hits the target.

We developed a tiny database inside of the electron to identify users. We entered ~20 students' name and assigned a unique four digit password for them to enter before playing with the target,

We used Particle Electron development board to make the product. It publishes the users score with their name on a Google Charts list. Here take a look at who is leading in the scoreboard!


We built quick prototypes to test the functionality of the materials and developed different parts of the interaction with different Arduino boards and finally merged everything when all the pieces worked perfectly. Enjoy some of the snapshots from the development process!

First quick prototype to see if the concept would really work with the nerf suction bullets

Team working on the next prototype

Laser cutting the target using acrylic sheet

Placing the laser cut pieces on top of the sensors- which are serial connected push-buttons

Prototype ready for testing

During testing

Switching to Electron and making the skeleton circuit to test and debug the code

Developing scenarios and trying Amazon Alexa as an input - we decided not to go with Alexa for time constraints

Soldering the 7 Seg display to the I2C backpack

Plugging in and testing the big 7-Seg LED display

Me explaining the power structure of the system to my teammates

Apoorva's method of creating the database and password system inside of the main code

Soldering the RGB LED strips

Here is the complete skeleton working proof of concept before installing it into the case

Installing the password buttons and the 7-seg display to the plywood case

Labelling the cables in order to easily keep track of them in the mess

Installing the buttons and LED strips to the case

Right before installing the acrylic target pieces

Feedback during the final presentation

Me destroying the target during the final presentation - We discovered that painted acrylic does not stick well enough to the buttons and switched to unpainted white ones right after this accident

Final product! It is open to all the students at ID to play with!

I would like to thank to my teammates for this enjoyable project. I also would like to thank TJ McLeish and Zach Pino for their amazing feedback and contributions throughout the semester.


© 2017 Ahmet Burak Aktas