May 11, 2012 at 1:29 PM ET
Fans of the video game series "Portal" who wish to decorate their abode with the violent and sometimes friendly robotic turrets now have options. There are various replica Portal guns on the market today, but aside from being rather pricey, they don't do much, other than light up and make noise, but now there is a new option.
YouTube user "kss5095' has created this Nerf instrument of destruction. The following video is of his work in progress model, the final project for his Advanced Mechatronics class at Penn State. It's missing the outer shell, but it otherwise works perfectly:
The turret combines an IP webcam, a laser pointer, two mini USB rocket launchers that shoots foam bullets, an Arduino microprocessor, and MATLAB, a high-level technical computing language.
Aside from spouting lines of dialogue from the game, it targets specific colors, which in this case is a pink t-shirt. It is assumed that "kss5095" simply did not have an orange jumpsuit handy, like the one Chell, protagonist from both "Portal" games, often wears.
At the very least, it's just fun watching a guy demonstrate his creation while it assails him with Nerf bullets. Oh, and imagine the potential if such a thing was further refined, of course. Like if it was made to detect cat fur.
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.