Designed for use with light- or laser-based guns, the shooting gallery moves two targets across two x-axes, two y-axes, and two z-axes. Powered by the company's linear actuators, it transports the targets toward or away from the shooter (x-axis) at speeds up to 1.5 m/sec and accelerations to 1 G. Left to right movement (y-axis) is 1.0 m/sec, and vertical (z-axis) is 750 mm/sec.
"These are by no means the fastest speeds we can do with these actuators, but it's pretty fast inside this small box," Rick Wood, managing director of Rollon Corp., said in an interview.
Movement of the targets is unpredictable. Rollon engineers, who designed and built the shooting gallery in a scant 30 days, employed a random number generator to assign the position of each target at any given time. Moreover, the game gets tougher for shooters with higher skill levels. "The way we designed it, when you hit the target, the whole system moves faster," Wood told us.
Rollon engineers created the shooting gallery to show off the company's linear actuators, but they now foresee it being used in a variety of applications, ranging from training systems to casino games. They say they could engineer it to be as small as inches per axis, or as big as 6m on each axis. "This application is entirely scalable," Wood said. "There really is nothing stopping us from increasing or decreasing the strokes of the axes."
I could definitely see where this would serve as an application for target practice. Just watching and listening to those constantly resolving line actuators move is enough to make one's head spin. The fact that they are programmed to speed up movement once the targets are hit makes it even more of a challenge. I'm confused, though, Chuck, about the application you mentioned for casino games?
There really seems like there is no end to what these linear actuators can be used for. I like the idea of law enforcement using them for training exercises - I'm willing to bet there are some officers out on the street that can barely hit a stationary target.
Jennifer, that is the scary part. There are lot's of police officers that are not really knowledgeable about, or proficient with, their firearms. Considering that these are so essential to protecting them, and us, this is a problem. It is not as bad as it once was, though. This device would make a great training system for moving and chaotic situations. I found in hunting that accuracy with stationary targets was no guarntee of success with moving game, for example.
I don't know much about Rollon's casino applications idea, except that they see this as a potential modern day shooting gallery. It's just one of many ideas that the company is floating for this technology.
Good point, Rob. This thing is big. The one I saw was probably about six or seven feet on a side. It's a testimony to the company's engineers that they were able to design and build it from scratch in a month.
Not sure I'd want to see that kind of shooting game in a casino, but who knows. It is pretty amazing the roles they can think up for the technology that on first blush would seem totally out of the wheelhouse.
The time for designing and building this actuator system is remarkable in itself. I worked with a client in specifying and building a Cartesian system using linear actuators. They were the heart of the system. In our case, we use the robotic hardware to dispense silicone; i.e. RTV. That project was completed in 2009 and we are still running eight hours per day five days per week. Remarkable reliability with very little maintenance needed. The controls allow us to program up to one hundred different movement sequences. All we do is change the tooling needed to capture the parts, input OP1, OP2, etc to select the program and we are off to the races. Previous to this, we had four workers applying the RTV and two in "pack-out". The device shown in the video is definitely representative of the versatility linear actuators bring to the party. Great post.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
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