MK II (Arduino controlled responsive target)

Uses an Arduino to indicate a target for a short period. The faster and more accurate you are, the faster the indications and the shorter the period; make mistakes and the target slows down.

The video shows the following:

  • Startup; striking and missing the targets.
  • Serial console, showing results of strikes.
  • Target frequency shown speeded up following a string of accurate hits.
  • Reset and start.
  • Added rubber behind targets so they have a little bit of give (old pond liner).
  • Covered the bolt heads in copper (old water pipe) to protect sword tips.
  • Targets are individually addressable and have an LED indicator. LEDs are mounted below the surface of the target so they don't get damaged, and the holes are covered by old CDs so the holes are protected (the scoring areas are the beer cans, not the CDs).
  • Controlled by an Arduino and runs off a small battery.
  • There's a reset switch on the side of the control box that clears current values and restarts the system.
  • A laptop can be connected to monitor response times, period, and hit/miss on a serial console (for example using the Arduino IDE, PUTTY or similar).
  • How it works / what it does
    • At startup, all the LEDs flash to prove that they work.
    • A random LED is lit for a short period (three seconds).
      • If the correct target is hit then the next random target is selected, and the period is reduced by a small amount (50ms). Repeated accuracy results in the exercise speeding up
      • If the target is missed the white LED is lit, there's a short pause and the period is increased by 50ms. Repeated misses results in the exercise slowing down.
      • If the period times out the next random target is selected and lit for the same period. If left, the targets continually cycle at the same rate, so if coaching input is required, or a break for any reason, there's no change to the current settings.
  • Although the sketch refers to using an epee, sabres and foils can also be used. (sabre won't indicate off-target hits, and a tweak to the wiring will be needed for foils)



Download the Arduino sketch (fencing_target_MK3.ino)


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