Video: A night at a local pub isn’t complete without a few rounds of darts, but as your blood-alcohol level rises, your ability to hit the bullseye greatly diminishes. Unless you’re playing with Mark Rober’s motion-tracking dart board that automatically repositions itself so you’re guaranteed to hit the bullseye every time.
Rober, an ex-NASA engineer, spent three years designing, building and perfecting this dart board, which relies on six Vicon motion-tracking cameras and standard darts upgraded with simple infrared reflectors. It takes just 200 milliseconds for the computers powering the dartboard to predict the trajectory of a thrown dart, and an additional 200 milliseconds for the dart board’s six stepper motors to move it into position. Before impact the system is able to refine its trajectory tracking and reposition the board as many as 100 times to ensure the dart hits the bullseye.
If you’re so impossibly drunk that darts end up on the other side of the pub after a throw, obviously this dartboard isn’t going to do much to improve your game. And as impressive as it is, the over-the-top creation literally required a rocket scientist to engineer it, so few of us will be building our own at home. But if, like most of us, you kind of suck at darts, you’ll probably wish your local watering hole had one of these suckers installed in there to add to your false sense of self-awesomeness.