June 14th, 2021—
Both archery and robotics are extremely fun, but what happens when you combine the two? In Kamal Carter’s case, he constructed his own autonomous robotic archery system that can not only acquire and aim at targets, but even draw back the bow and fire an arrow all on its own.
The project features an Intel RealSense Depth Camera at its heart to acquire targets by looking for abnormally bright colors and to compute its distance away from them. This information is then fed to an Arduino Mega that uses some simple physics to determine where exactly the bow should be aimed via a pair of stepper motors. Once the target has been dialed in, another stepper pulls back the bow while a servo releases the string’s tension, thus firing the arrow.
Carter has shared a video where he demonstrated the effectiveness of his autonomous archery system — and it’s impressive. The robot was able to recognize the apple on his head (just like in Robin Hood), tilt the bow up slightly, and then fire, which ended up knocking the apple off with minor collateral damage.
You can read more about how Carter built this robotic archer by viewing his write-up over on Hackaday.io.