I’d love to see a program based laser tag system.
It would consist of a “gun” (which is an IR led in a tube with a lens to focus it and make it more unidirectional) and one or more “sensors”.
I imagine 1 gun and 4 small sensors per kit, enabling the sensors to be placed front/rear/left/right.
To make them cheap, I would let them require programming to build your own game around them, but if desired they could include some built in (but disable-able) functionality.
With programming, I imagine you could do some interesting things like:
- Hits to the left/right could disable or weaken that side (perhaps based on strength of hit (which will be base do on distance)).
- Hits to the rear could disable or weaken both sides for a time.
- Hits to the front could disable for a short time or perhaps do nothing.
- Each zone could be given a “score” and when that score is reached, game over.
Anyway, it is something I am interested in attempting on my own but I thought it would give people who are not in some awesome FIRST/FRC competition something neat to do with their Vex.
is this a new product reccomendation? if it is, i don’t think it’s very practical for most vexers. but good idea though, i’ve done something similar with Lego Mindstorms.
I like the idea. It seems like the receiving sensors would have to be fairly large because I’m not sure how precise you could get the gun to fire using vex parts. It sounds like a fun game to play using robots.
The IR “gun” is basically a focused flash light, so its beam is going to get wider and wider the farther away it is. The term “laser” tag is a little miss-leading. So the sensors don’t need to be that big at all (they are ~2mm across I think). At a modest range (depending on the focus of the lens), the “beam” of IR is going to be multiple centimeters in size, not a few millimeters like you’d see from a laser.
Why wouldn’t be practical? My guess is that you mean most people have 1 vex robot and generally tinker with them alone? If that is what you mean, then I totally agree. But it could also promote more vex “togetherness” which might be kind of cool.
Anyway, I’m 99% sure they’d never make something like this so I won’t worry about it. I do want to take a crack at making it myself, there are plenty of DIY laser tag sites on the internet and they are logically pretty simple.
I think the hard part is that the gun and sensors should probably have some simple encoding, otherwise a strong IR source (say, the sun?) could cause false hits.
There were actually a couple of guys on this forum who did this a while back with Vex. The thread for it is here. This would be a fun thing to officially add to the Vex line. It’d probably end up pretty low on their priority list, but it would be nice to see.