Projekt ARES - a DIY laser shooting gallery

Music: Wepa Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ares Schießkino Aufbau

Projekt ARES is a shooting simulation in which players shoot at a projected picture with a laser weapon. A camera films the picture and registers the light point of the laser. The position of the laser point is transferred into the virtual environment, then a shot is simulated. The registration of the shot is so precise that it can match commercial video shooting ranges and is much better than typical shooting gallery systems from the entertainment sector.

This technology is used to play several small games, which test the player’s reactions and accuracy. All these games can also be controlled with a mouse. In the “screenshots” section you can find pictures and a short description of all games.

ARES is designed in such a way that it needs only a minimum of hardware. You need a simple projector as well as a standard webcam. In addition you need a laser gun which creates a short laser pulse if you press a button. A simple laser pointer is also sufficient in order to test the system. In the “hardware” section we explain how you can construct your own laser gun with some simple electronic knowledge and some skilled craftsmanship. Finally you need a colour filter which can be fixed on the webcam and which is adapted to the wavelength of the laser used. This is also explained in the “hardware” section.

At the beginning you have to open the calibration assistant under the menu point “settings”. This takes the user in seven simple steps through the system set-up. First the camera is pointed at the projected picture. Then you have to mark some key points in the camera picture by means of the mouse. Finally, the picture parameters of the camera as well as the brightness of the filmed laser are set. Then the system is operational. Additionally thre is the possibility to calibrate an offset to makeup for lasers that aren't perfectly aligned. The whole menu can also be operated with the laser gun. The assistant contains instructions for every step as well as tips for an optimal result. Am Anfang muss man unter dem Menüpunkt "Einstellungen" den Kalibrierungsassistenten starten. Dieser leitet den Benutzer in sechs einfachen Schritten durch die Einrichtung des Systems. Dabei wird zunächst die Kamera auf das projizierte Bild ausgerichtet und anschließend muss man mit der Maus einige Punkte im Kamerabild markieren. Zum Schluss werden noch die Bildparameter der Kamera sowie die Helligkeit des gefilmten Lasers eingestellt. Danach ist das System betriebsbereit. Die gesamte Menüführung lässt sich dann auch mit der Laserpistole bedienen. Zu jedem der Schritte enthält der Assistent eine Anleitung sowie Tipps für ein optimales Ergebnis.

Projekt ARES was developed by the two people mentioned in the contact section between 2007 and 2009 and completed in 2012. Since then new games and functions have been added, mostly developed according to the user’s requirements.

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