Valorant is a free-to-play 5v5 first-person shooter game. As in most shooters, players want to avoid getting shot. One way they can prevent incoming fire is to use Boom Bot, which is a little robot that will drive forward and chase enemies before exploding — while the player stays safely hidden out of sight. While he probably won’t be getting into any gunfights, Danny Lum built his own functional replica of the Boom Bot.
Boom Bot’s behavior in the game is quite simple. When deployed, it will drive straight forward until it either collides with a wall or detects an opponent. If it runs into a wall, it turns like a Roomba. If it sees a target, it will begin chasing them. Lum was able to recreate that functionality in a conventional two-wheel-drive rover robot. The robot was designed in Solidworks CAD to match in the in-game Boom Bot and then 3D-printed.
An Arduino Nano board controls the two drive motors that rotate special irregular wheels to give the robot wobbly movement like in the game. It also responds to information from two sets of sensors. A trio of ultrasonic sensors handle obstacle detection and tell the robot which way to rotate. An OpenMV face detection camera finds humans so the Boom Bot replica can chase them. An LCD screen gives Boom Bot an emotive face and a servo-actuated hatch on top pops open during targeting.
The final touch was a pneumatic powder puffer system that replaces the in-game explosion.