Mobile Virtual Player
Research and Development Engineer
September 2017- Present
Objectives: Invent, design, and produce a sensor mechanism to detect and report up to 1000 bullet hits and location data to user for moving target firearms training.
Mixed electrical and mechanical systems design
Signal processing and filtering
Design for Manufacture
Solidworks FEA and Mold Design
As the capstone to my academic career at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, I worked with a team of seven engineers to design and implement the best possible bullet detection system for a moving firearms dummy. We worked with Mobile Virtual Player (MVP), a company who previously had created revolutionary tackling dummies. For 6 months, my team worked with MVP to develop and produce the first-of-its-kind mobile target dummy with advanced bullet detection for military and firearms training.
At the end of six months, we had delivered four main features of a mobile firearms target that were fully integrated and ready for market production. We even manufactured 8 production quality target dummies in house that were used by military groups during an industry expo.
We created four main features:
Bullet detection system*
We used Solidworks mold tools to design core and body molds for the foam targets. We used a shopbot to manufacture the molds, and we made 8 production level foam targets from our molds.
Final mold design for future dummies:
Our delivered product successfully could record >1000 bullet hits with >98% accuracy before needing to be replaced. Due to the self-healing properties of the materials we used, the target can detect hits from .223 to .50 caliber shots. The target can detect shots from any direction, including automatic weapon fire.
*Our bullet detection sensor system is protected under a NDA. Contact me directly to request more info.
Mechanism to raise and lower target
We built upon the existing drive base that MVP had developed for their tackling dummies, and made it safe and resilient to live fire testing, and added a mechanism to raise and lower the target after it has been shot.
The mechanism consists of a motorized lead screw that raises and lowers the target in 0.5 seconds. Limit switches control the target's travel.
PCB and Electronics to provide electrical signals
We built a PCB that: detects bullet hits in different regions of the dummy, keeps a record of hits and constantly communicates with the user up to 1km via radio chips and Bluetooth, and controls mechanical actuator to raise and lower the target.
We developed an iOS App using Swift and Xcode. The app communicates with the PCB and constantly updates hit counts based on the stored PCB data. This system mitigates garbled packages in transmission and is still fast enough for immediate user feedback on hit location. A user can customize the dummies behavior, including number and sequence of hits for a "kill".
Screenshots from working iOS App