The founder of Sydney startup accelerator BlueChilli has made the ultimate office weapon – a Nerf gun that can be pointed and fired at anyone with a simple Slack command.
Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin put the automated Nerf gun blaster together over his summer break using an Intel Galileo computer to show off what he believes is the next wave of technology – the internet of things.
You can read the full detailed breakdown of how he built it over at the BlueChilli blog, but basically, he hooked up the Nerf gun to the Galileo which was programmed to interact with Slack and shoot when you type someone’s name. People are detected using Intel’s RealSense camera and the Nerf gun itself is heavily modified to be able to fire electronically.
This all results in anyone being able to shoot anyone else via simple Slack command at any time. Pretty awesome.
Although the fear of being shot hasn’t exactly contributed to productivity Eckersley-Maslin said to Business Insider.
“Linking it to slack so anyone could control it certainly hasn’t had a positive impact to productivity, especially the feared /shoot anyone command,” he said.
The project, simply named Turret was made for two reasons, the first simply because they had the Nerf guns, engineering skills and a Galileo hanging around, but the second to demonstrate the potential of the internet of things.
“I believe that IoT is the next evolution of computing,” Eckersley-Maslin said.
“We’ve gone from mainframe, to personal computing, to web and now mobile with IoT as next. IoT is about letting go of our computer (mobile) and having them everywhere in our environment, allowing us to interact with our space in a way that completely removes any lasting distinction we have between ‘offline’ and ‘online’.
“I think the impact here will be profound, but like any new evolution it will take time to mature and find it’s rightful place.”
The internet of things will be equally as important for the future of Australian innovation and local startups too.
“With our close ties to SE Asian mass manufacturing neighbours we can take that Australian ingenuity we’re renowned for and we’re perfectly positioned to jump right in at the start of the next evolution,” he added.
But next time your boss is having a go at you at work, just remember that he’s at least not a genius that programmed a gun to fire on you at will.