How We Built the Quintessential Sentry Gun

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This is one way to keep the Jehovah Witnesses at bay.

Okay, “quintessential” might be going a little far, but it’s enough to frighten me. The idea of this project was to create a fully-automated sentry gun, capable of picking out a human target and accurately tracking and shooting him or her in the heart. Really, the idea was to find a cool robotics project for the summer while I was working at an advertising agency, and I’d only ever seen sentry guns in movies (like Congo) and video games (Half-Life 1, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress Classic). I couldn’t find any record of anyone building one, even the military, although it seems likely I just didn’t look hard enough. It’s a pretty simple technology.