Automated Air Cannon

5 Feb

My colleagues and I at Microsoft Strategic Engagements often hold “hackfests” to help customers solve hard problems.  This week, however, we held a hackfest just to build something fun!

I present to you, the fully automated air cannon with OpenCV object tracking:

The cannon is from and we have mounted it on a platform with linear actuators for controlling pitch and yaw.  Two additional actuators control a shotgun style reload mechanism and fire the trigger.  A Microsoft 1080p HD camera is mounted on the front with video fed into an OpenCV powered WPF application for object tracking.

The device is primarily controlled via an Arduino Yun which exposes an API the Windows applications can consume for higher level activities.  You can find the main GitHub repository at


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