Moving Dartboard Keeps Players On Target

first_img Tune In As Brad Pitt Speaks With NASA Astronaut on ISSNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Practice makes perfect. But so does an engineering background and ingenuity.Inventor and science enthusiast Mark Rober, a self-proclaimed dart loser, built a moving dartboard that ensures even the drunkest players hit the bullseye.A former NASA Jet Propulsion Lab employee, Rober spent seven years working on the Mars Curiosity rover.Now he has nearly 1.8 million YouTube subscribers, hosts the Science Channel’s The Quick And The Curious TV show, and makes the occasional appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.Oh, and he essentially reverse engineered Luke Skywalker’s targeting computer.“I fulfilled a three-year-long dream to create a dartboard where you get a bullseye every time, thanks to some engineering,” according to the YouTube video description.Working with a fellow NASA team member, Rober designed the Automatic Bullseye Dartboard to track and predict the trajectory of a dart and reposition itself—within half a second—so you always hit your target.The complicated system consists of six motion capture cameras (which bounce infrared signals off tiny retroreflectors on the dart), a computer (which does the math and sends commands to the engine), half a dozen motors (which use a spool of fishing line to attach to the back of the board), and a mess of microcomputers, wires, converters, and drives.Mark Rober“Oh, and we don’t just make one guess on the final position of the board,” Rober explained. “We update and refine that guess anywhere from 10 to 100 times, which is why you sometimes sort of see the board jitter into the final position.”Sure, throwing winning shots is fun in Rober’s home lab. But the real test of dart-throwing success can only be proven in one place: a bar.Patrons at California’s Barney’s Beanery tried their hand at this newfangled game. Spoiler alert: They really enjoyed it.“In general, we found if you’re really drunk, you get so pumped at your new abilities,” Rober said. Stay on targetlast_img

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