Hacking a Missile Launcher (as in the Dream Cheeky Thunder Missile Launcher... )


Oh.... missile launcher! Hacking a missile launcher is a long term favorite subject for Coding4Fun. I mean who doesn't want to code up a missle launcher to execute that perfect cube or room defense?

Today Jamie Dixon continues working on his Terminator project, adding, well, you guessed it, Missile Launch capability!

Speaking of Jamie Dixon;

Hacking the Dream Cheeky Thunder [Part 1], Hacking the Dream Cheeky Thunder Missile Launcher, Part 2

One of the things that the Terminator will have is a missile launcher, which I started hacking here.  The missile launcher Api is controlled by time.  Specifically, you tell it to turn in a certain direction for a certain amount of time.

The challenge is converting that duration into X,Y Cartesian coordinates the way the Kinect and the phidget laser system does.  And before getting Cartesian coordinates, we needed to get the polar coordinates.  This is how we did it.

First, we tackled the pan (X coordinate) of the missile launcher.  The launcher is a on a square base and the full range of the launcher is 45 degrees to 315 degrees.


With some experimentation, we determined that the total time it takes the turret to traverse from 45 degrees to 315 degrees (270 total degrees) is 6346 Milliseconds.  Assume that the motor is consistent (which is a big if using cheap electronics), it takes the motor about 23.5 milliseconds to move 1 degree on the X axis. 

The tilt was more of a challenge.  We needed a way of measuring the total range along the Y axis.  To that end, we placed the turret 300 millimeters away from the wall.  We then placed a laser pointer on the turret and put a level on it to ensure that it was a 0 degrees and marked the wall.  We then moved the turret to its highest position and then to its lowest, marking the wall with those points.  We then measured the distance to the highest and lowest point on the wall.


And with that, we have another weapons system we can add to our kinect Terminiator

[click through for the source and much more]

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