Let's Make Robots!

Laser Tag and Recoil


It's me and my laser tag project again. This time you'll read about me trying to find a solution to simulate the recoil of real weapons to make laser tag more realistic and cool to play.

First part of the page will be, as usual, the brainstorming part. That means that i really do not know what i'm gonna use for the recoil mecahnism (and if i will be using one, if it gets too complicated or costly i'll just abandon this idea) so i ask you for suggestions.

 What does it have to do to properly simulate recoil?:

- it has to be a fast mechanism considering i might get up to 15 virtual bullets per second (it might also work once every to bullets, bringing the count down to 7 "loops" per second at most)

- it is preferrable if the mechanism works with electricity and not gas or air

- it has to be a bit powerful, not too much but at least it has to give you the "blowback" feeling

 What i have considered so far: 

not much actually. I have read that solenoids might do the job, but i don't know whether they are fast enough and where to buy them. I also checked out linear actuators but they seem to be costly and slow. Dual shock-like motors (the ones you find in xbox/ps/wii controllers) are the easiest and cheapest solution, but i'd keep this as a last resort, in case i can't come up with anything else, because they don't give you a "kick", they just make the gun vibrate (not very realistic). 


I am concentrating especially on solenoids. They look interesting, but i really do not know where i can get fast and powerful ones. My idea is to attach a weight to the solenoid arm and switch it on and off everytime the user presses the trigger.

Any suggestion/idea? 


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That is a cool doowhackey ;)
Nice one.
I just had to make something from the solenoid. I ended up with about a dozen extras from a work project. A guy I work with liked steam engines and he suggested building an "electric steam engine". Sounded interesting to me and this is the result.
You need that thing that the mythbusters used on the "harmonics can distroy a building" episode... Some sorta shake back and forth thing that they bolted to a bridge.
I believe they were linear motors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_motor They're expensive and bluky, but they will certainly add a special punch to the game.
i can't seem to find small and cheap enough ones on the net...

Yeah, I didn't think you would be able too. They're large and expensive. And by adding a "punch" I meant they might not your players out. They draw too much current anyway. 

Off center weights, and the motion of spinning them is what gives the dual shock its vibration.
That's my last option, in case all the other ones fail. This because the vibration caused by them is not as realistic as the cam setup, it doesn't gie you the blowback feeling.

this could also be a solution, i could place the bottom side of the figure below against the butt plate of the weapon.