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is it possible to build a robot to catch bullets?

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#1 papercut2008uk



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Posted 20 November 2013 - 23:50

would it be possible to create a robot that could catch bullets that have been fired form a gun?


2 high speed camera's 

a computer

a robotic arm


i'm sure it would be possible with those things, 2 high speed camera's could see the bullet in slow motion as it was fired, the computer would process the information and find it's trajectory and impact point and the arm could move to catch or stop it.



#2 srbeen



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Posted 20 November 2013 - 23:57

Youd need some fast motors to accomplish it, and they have to be able to withstand the force of the bullet. With current technology you can achieve what you want in terms of control. Something like a kinect/radar technology would be perfect to calculate the speed of the bullet.

#3 +jamesyfx


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Posted 20 November 2013 - 23:58

I think in theory you could get a robot to catch a fast moving object. My thinking is some high speed cameras with motion tracking on them. But I'm not sure if a bullet would be large enough for the cameras to be able to successfully track it.


I'll ask one of my work colleagues about this tomorrow.. He's got a good answer for everything. :p

#4 Hum


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:00

I just call Superman. :p

#5 Louisifer



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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:07

If you could get a fast enough motor that could withstand the force of impact I think the camera would be its weakness, maybe some sort of radar/laser setup?

#6 D. S.

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:12

If by catch you mean "getting hit by", sure.

#7 Crisp



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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:14

Nothing is impossible.

#8 thomastmc


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:17

In extremely well controlled and static conditions, with extremely sophisticated hardware and software, it would be possible. It would be also be very expensive, and require a number of people with a very high level of expertise in various fields.


Still, it's not going to be like a Robocop that can run around and catch bullets by any means. It wouldn't even portable. A wrong glint of light could even easily throw off it's calculation of the bullet's trajectory. It would have difficulty at first handling one bullet, and the more bullets you throw at it in a shorter amount of time the difficulty increases exponentially.


Anything that would actually be "cool", in terms of catching bullets out of the air, is still quite a ways off.

#9 Cute James

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:22

I'm not sure about catching bullets, but this thing absolutely rules at 'Janken'!



#10 Boo Berry

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:25

It's not impossible but how do you want a robot to catch it? Swipe it out of the air?

#11 Hum


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 00:46

A kevlar net would make more sense than a metal hand.

#12 Kami-


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:40

A kevlar net would make more sense than a metal hand.

Kevlar coated ceramic slab plate makes more sense...

#13 Phouchg


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 14:06

Using cameras for bullet motion and position detection will definitely not cut it. This is not WALL-E with Kinect for its head and even then image processing would be way too expensive and still slow for something as fast as a bullet, which travels at several hundred meters per second. Radars, lasers, lidars... probably.


Also, I'm not sure if there are actuators that can position an object that fast and, as mentioned, also the great amount of force transfered from the bullet without being damaged. I don't think it's really possible to catch a bullet any other way than allowing it to impact unless, I guess, the arms are strictly perpendicular to bullet's trajectory?


It would probably be easier to destroy bullets mid-flight using very high power lasers, like Lockheed's ADAM (but this for missiles, not projectiles).

#14 Aheer.R.S.


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 14:17

Ok, my battery's getting low so I've just scrolled past the comments, sorry guys.

Going purely on the tech you've suggested, I'd have to say no.
I'm not a ballistics expert by any standards, but I do believe the tech isn't quite there yet, for a system to recognise, track, accelerate, catch, then decelerate once caught, a bullet.

#15 Gerowen


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Posted 21 November 2013 - 14:22

You'd have to have some sort of mechanism to trigger it by a visual stimulus, because most bullets travel at or over the speed of sound, so if it were sound activated it would have already missed by the time the sound got there.  I think the trickiest part would be figuring out how to tell the robot the gun has been fired.