Let's Make Robots!

Small Laser Turret for your "Killer Robot"

The business end with the round heat sink is a 445 nm (blue) laser that is good up to about 2 watts maximum. I turned out the laser heat sink on my lathe. I found the driver was getting hot, especially when I raised the power, so I decided to put that in a heat sink as well. The cool looking heat sink holding the driver circuitry is off an old printer's print-head. It just begged to be added to the laser to make a finished product that is reminiscent of some sort of turret gun on a space warship from Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica.

Oh the white ring is some of the (zinc oxide) heat-sink compound that is showing. I used it liberally all around.

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Hear was Dan M ,burnt into it's victims

not playing laser tag with you

groovy gizmo Dan :)

I have a similar type rig however low power, I am wondering how the laser will be driven, serves or steppers. I have problems with the inertia overshooting the laser when driven fast when using servos.... just some pointers for you.

I would say use steppers instead of servos if you want precision.  You thinking of a CNC cutter?

My laser is 2 watts maximum "average" output, but it is pulsed, so the individual pulses can be stronger as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum continuous average power limits. Even so, it can't cut hard metals and so on; --only wood, paper or plastics.

what will the robot be shooting at?


Anything that gets in its way...  ha ha


Actually, I was thinking of trying to make a "balloon detector" along with color recognition. It might be programmed to shoot only black ballons for instance. (Or blue or red or....)

About the only thing I've used it for so far is lighting test batches of rocket fuels...   (MarkusB got me a bit interested in rockets again.)


Although I'm sure you are aware of the potential dangers of a high power blue laser, perhaps not everyone is.  Powerful blue lasers like this can cause irreversable blindness.  In the laser labs on campus precautions are taken; special goggles that filter the laser light plus many physical interlocks so that things can't turn on unexepectedly.

Nothing wrong with using these as long as they receive proper respect, just like high voltage.

I hope you attach a bug tracking system and put the laser to good use.  Have fun.

Some Safety Info  http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersaf.htm#saflshp

Dr Iguana

Yes, thanks. I have worked with lasers off and on since about 1972. (I was hired to do special projects and lasers were amongst the equipment I worked with.)

(As to bug tracking, I wish I could figure out a way for it to recognise ants. I get lots of the tiny red ants in my house.)

As to safety: I have a couple pairs of laser goggles and always wear one...  (Ok, almost always---  at least I do for the stronger lasers.)  Anything over 5 mW is strong enough to hurt your eyes before you can blink, so they must be treated with respect. Don't use regular sunglasses or even welding glasses; they are no good against lasers. Get glasses or goggles with a high OD* number at the frequency you are working with.

(Optical Density)

that looks great good job!

Thanks. I think it has a cool look to it, also.