Let's Make Robots!

Laser Tag Project

Hi guys.

I thought that the best thing to do to save all my progress so far about Laser Tag was to write a page in the blog, so here i am!

This first entry only deals with the various possible setups i might use for this project, i haven't made up my mind yet. I'll start by listing the most probable ones.


SETUP 1 (voodoobot)


-3 SERIN MCUs at the top, each one runs the SERIN command and as soon as they get something they tell that to the master.

-Master: receives data from the top MCUs, decides if the shooter MCUs can operate (eg: if the player has still some hit points then let him shoot OR if there are bullets in the mag)

-Shooter: shoots, that's all.


SETUP 2 (voodoobot/CaptainTuna)


-3 SERIN MCUs at the top, each one runs the SERIN command and as soon as they get something they tell that to the master.

-Master MCU: gets data from the other MCUs and does the shooting. The frequency of the shooting might not be totally precise as in the previous setup 


SETUP 3 (CaptainTuna)


- Master: has 3 interrupts (28X2), goes to SERIN mode as soon as one of the 3 interrupts gets activated by one of the sensors. Tells the SHOOTER MCU whether it can shoot or not.

- Shooter: shoots. May substitute the master in magazine checking (eg:checking if the mag has enough bullets for the shooting, even if the master will still need to tell the shooter if it can shoot or not, since it is the master that calculates the remaining hit points.




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Is it necessary to have 3 receivers? You could run them all to a single pin, then it should be triggered when any of them are hit. Unless you want to see what part you were hit on or there is something I`m missing.

Also how are you going to place the detectors on a player?

Anyway I love the idea of a home brew laser tag game. I have a laser diode I thought about putting on a robot and have the robot hunt down people or other robots.

Actually each receiver will be connected to multiple IR sensors. The reason i have chosen three of them is, as you said, to understand from which side the player got hit.

As for the placing of the detectors: definetly at least 3 on the helmet, covering 360°.  I am not sure if i still have to add more on the chest, but anyways if i'll add them they are gonna be in parallel with the ones on the helmet (actually, they will be connected in parallel with the receiver on the helmet matching their side/angle). 

What is the best option (of the above three) in your opinion? 

Personally I wouldn`t use sides but seperate it into zones for head and torso. All the head detectors are wired parallel, same with the torso. 3 or 4 sensors on the head should cover it like you said. For the body put 1 front and back, plus 1 on the outside of each upper arm. Should give full coverage like the helmet. Overall it might lower your hardware costs and make the programming simpler, and later on you could add more zones, like legs, and just reuse code pretty easily.

Nice idea but i'll have to test this. I am afraid that an IR beam could be hitting multiple sensors of the same zone (say one in the torso and one in the helmet. But then i could use unique bullet IDs to prevent overdamage! Sounds nice

I thought about that too, when I wondered what the benefits of having lots of micros just for looking after the sensors. If you have each "hit" blocking other attacks for 0.5 ~ 1 secs you wouldn`t have to worry about overloading the brain, plus it would prevent a person losing all their lives instantly by multiple attackers.

Great! I am totally gonna keep in mind these ideas when i do the software part of it. After all you're right, the blocking of the shooting doesn't need to be seen as a disadvantage. All i've read so far leads me to something similar to the third setup.

I'll have to start doing some testing (i tell myself this thing everyday but i never start testing)! :) 

The discovery of the hardware serin on the picaxe 28x2 changes everything. It looks like these things can run in background and save their data on the scratchpad. I'll have to properly understand how these things work and then i'll post some more informations. As for what i've read so far, it sounds like the third setup will be the most probable one.