Maker Daniel Wareham has created a Raspberry Pi project that might take us one step closer to bringing the game Portal into the real world. Using our favorite microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi Pico, Wareham has created a 3D-printed turret that can be controlled both manually and automatically.
Now it’s worth noting right off the bat that this turret project doesn’t actually shoot. While there is no mechanism for launching projectiles, it does an excellent job of demonstrating the aiming and control capabilities of an actual turret, outputting the calculation data to OLED screens on the controller.
The turret itself is housed inside of a custom, 3D printed enclosure. Inside are a couple of motors that control the left/right movement of the turret body and up/down motion of the barrel. It’s operated using a separate controller box with a beautiful design and well-finished interface. The controller has two OLED screens for outputting data and adjusting settings, three sliders, two knobs, three potentiometers and a joystick for manual operation.
Like we said before, it doesn’t actually shoot projectiles but it can aim by itself and take into account target motion for real-time simulations. This exciting, military-inspired technology was written in none other than the free, open-source language—Python. The best Raspberry Pi projects are ones you can make at home and Wareham was kind enough to share all of the mechanical details at GitHub for curious parties.
If you want to get a closer look at how the unit operates, check out Daniel Warham’s official YouTube channel which has several videos detailing the project’s construction.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.