View Full Version : [Contest Entry] Mini Water Cannon

08-28-2007, 01:29 PM
Here is my submission, motion detecting, water shooting fun, complete (ok at least a write up) can be seen at the site...

You can see it at www.Waterhobo.com (http://www.Waterhobo.com)


08-28-2007, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the submission:)

09-14-2007, 11:36 AM

I wanted to mention that I absolutely freaking loved your project. I was pushing for it hard during our debates over the winners. Unfortunately, since it was just a link to an outside explanation which breaks the submission requirements it had to be disqualified. You can still get the project entered for another month if you follow the posting guidelines (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/robotics-rfid-hci-home-automation-contest.aspx).

That being said, a gun that sprays kids with water in the middle of the night is hysterical. I love it. Build more of this stuff! :D

09-23-2007, 07:59 PM

Ok talk about feeling stupid I missed that line about no "Just Links submissions" will be not considered. So please accept this as my submission for the month of September.

The WaterHobo
Ever Diligent Ever Watching
Once upon a time a subdivision swimming pool caused a minor problem, but none the less a problem. So the Waterhobo was pressed into service. His goal to right the wrongs of the little people, and that is just what he has started to do. There were these little critters called "Rugrats" that sometimes accompanied their parentals and seemed to loose thier way. For some reason the grass was greener in my yard than the sidewalk and walk around a couple of houses to get to the pool.

So the Waterhobo quickly setup his HQ and fortified his defences. He was able to get one 1/4 inch mini-cannon working this year, with more planned for next year. Thourgh trial and error he quickly found out that a Windows interface was the way to go. This interface created the bulk of the Command Center. The cannon had an effective range of about 30 feet and was able to cover a defined field of fire of about 25 feet in under a second. With an unlimited supply of ammunition(as long as someone did not turn it off or the bill get to high) the hunt was on. To help the Waterhobo the cannon was built with automatic fire that could be triggered by motion regardless of day or night. It also offered manual control in the event the Waterhobo wanted to handle the controls himself. Finally the Command Center also has the ability for capturing of a video, errors and fine tuning control.



Below are some videos that were shot, the first set is teaching some RugRat a new trick, the 2nd set is a bunch of different random videos that I took during the season.



So with the migration season to the big concrete waterhole over what did we learn.

Motion detection works great, sometimes to good.
We now have video and it is meeting the goal of having something to laugh about.
Auto fire works and combine it with "Holy Hand Grenade" mode and you can cover a lot of territory.
You can teach "RugRats" new tricks.
PVC is better than cheap plastic hoses.
Servo controller boards (Phidgets);do not like thunder storms, keep it water tight
A lot more "RugRats" see the grass as greener;than I thought, some even;riding bikes on my lawn
Do not shoot your wife, even by accident (might not be a version 3 :o ).
Some kids will use it like running through a lawn sprinkler, little kids really like it.
Using sound effects add to the fun
Infrared camera's are not all built the same

So will there be a version 3, what do you think, the
Waterhobo has accuired more servos, another controller board that will support
up to 8 servos so it will pan and tilt. He has also accuired in ground
popup sprinklers, so wait and see. If you would like a more detail
breakdown just visit http://www.Waterhobo.com (http://www.Waterhobo.com)

09-24-2007, 10:23 AM
Gives a whole new meaning to "get off my lawn you pesky kids", haha! Great submission, thanks!

Seriously though, nice project tbh726! Do you happen to have a parts lists that you can post?

09-25-2007, 03:42 PM
Alex the following parts were used:

X10 120 volt outlet (ebay)
X10 Transmitter(Firecracker) and Receiver (ebay)
X10 Libraries that would work with C#
In ground sprinkler solenoid (3/4 inch from Home Depot)
Phidget single servo board with servo (Trossen Robotics)
Phidget C# libraries
PVC pipe(1/2 inch), Copper Ice maker pipe (1/4 inch), and a few other plumbing parts
Old computer, 1.7 GHz with a gig of ram
Camera - I have used tested many types (IP, USB, CCV with DVR card) and they all worked with Aforge C# libraries (ebay)

this supported versions 1 & 2, version 3 will see some changes based on what we have learnt.


09-26-2007, 08:40 AM

Old computer, 1.7 GHz with a gig of ram

Old? I wonder what would you call my computer at home, haha! It only has a 1.1 with the RAM maxed out at 512MB;)

I always wondered about X10. How was using X10 with C# like? Did you run into any obstacles?

09-28-2007, 09:05 AM
On the Old Computer... Like I have always said people are funny... The new thing is dual or quad core, sata 3, directX10, etc, etc. So they upgrade and sell the "Old" parts at garage sales for nothing. I have gone to garage sales seen broken computers near the trash and the people just give them to me for free. Some of my best buys are:

Compaq Poliant 370l server with 1.0 cpu (could support another cpu) with a gig of ram and 3 hot swappable scsi hard drives for $10 and worked. Or I also got a Ipaq almost brand new for 50 cents. The Ipaq i will use in a future robot idea. Monitors, keyboards, motherboards, scanners, speakers, copiers, broken computers I never pay out more than $5 for these items... These are great devices for projects like water cannons, MediaCenters and Mame (video arcades) machines.

On X10 it is a little "quirkie" it works great, but a much better design would be to just use Relays. For me it will work great for an idea of next year tying in the Neighbor's water supply into my gun also so we can use the cannon as a gun and 4" in ground popups as Claymores for anyone trying to get out of reach of the cannon... That gives me in effect a wireless solution. I have used both the firecracker and the computer interface. The firecracker is a fire and forget, the computer interface does give you the ability to poll. I liked the 110 volt outlet over the plug in modules because of the wall wart that is needed to support electric to the sprinkler solenoid. The library is very easy to use. I have a link on my site where you can get all of the different libraries for c# and was giving away the web service code i wrote to control both the X10 and phidget devices. I will be using it for the next version I am working on.

09-28-2007, 12:02 PM
Nice stuff tim, thanks for all the info!

regarding X10, have you every heard about ControlThink (ZWave)?


They're doing some really cool stuff integrating with .NET. We've talked to these guys on quite a few occasions and can attest, they're really cool peeps!

Or smarthome?


I don't know much about smarthome though. I just stumbled across their site now. If anyone has information about them, please share:)

11-15-2011, 04:26 PM
I am impressed with your build! It looks like a lot of fun. I have a lot of ideas for neat little gadgets that I would like to make, but I do not have the knowledge or the means to build one. Someone suggested that I take my ideas to someone who does rapid prototypes (http://www.realizeinc.com). He said that they can help me create a prototype. Has anyone ever done this? I am considering looking into it and see what options I have. Thanks.