March 22, 2017

This Smart Dartboard Moves to Help You Hit the Bullseye Every Time


YouTuber and former NASA engineer Mark Rober manages to pull off some cool stuff in nearly every video. Most of his projects only take about a month or two to complete. However, this new video saw him perfecting and tweaking a unique dartboard for over three years. Rober partnered with a fellow NASA engineer to make a dartboard that helps players hit a bullseye every single time.

Rober’s rig includes six motion capture cameras that analyze the trajectory of the dart to the board. The board then accommodates for the anticipated distance between the bullseye and where the dart will land by moving. And for fun, Rober made another dart to turn people into the worst dart player. The system moves the board in the exact opposite direction of the dart’s predicted trajectory. We can only imagine how perfect switching out these two darts would be in messing with a bunch of drunk guys at a bar.

Both the calculations and movements have to take place in just under a half second. Rober mentioned that fine-tuning that process is part of what took him three years to build the system. The motion capture system uses infrared to hit the reflectors on the dart in order to separate the dart from a busy background. Two years of Rober’s three years were spent only on this capture system. From there, they added some MATLAB code and basic math to calculate predictions.

Via Mark Rober

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