Imagine, if you will, a situation in which you greatly desire a refreshing beverage, but the nearest drinks dispenser is out of arm's reach. Whatever are you to do?
What it does
Our device uses a webcam hooked up to Microsoft's face API to detect the position of faces, and uses this information to aim a water pistol to deliver the drink of your choice through the air directly into your mouth.
How we built it
Of course electric water guns are a thing. After literally hacking off the firing mechanism of one and mounting it onto a turret we built, we use a Raspberry Pi to control two servos which aim towards the
victim ...recipient. A webcam feeding images in Microsoft's face API allows us to find the right position to aim.
Challenges we ran into
We initially tried to use a Dragonboard instead of a Raspberry Pi but unfortunately realised it was not able to provide the voltage needed to drive our two servos. We also had problems stemming from our really poor decision to write all this in Python, because often Python sucks. Also it's surprisingly difficult to figure out where to aim.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The fact that we actually managed to complete a hackathon (something quite rare for our team due to our compulsive need to come up with 'stretch goals').
What we learned
We learned that hardware hacks are definitely the most rewarding projects. Some of us learned about Microsoft's face recognition API, others learned about working with GPIOs and PWM, others flexed their insane knowledge by essentially re-writing the functionality of a terrible Python library we attempted to use.
What's next for SkyShots
Fill it up with Tequila? Add an Alexa keyword? The possibilities are truly endless!