Laser Wars!

Laser Wars against a Terminator!


The Laser Wars! Junior Technology project of Nick Wells from Inglewood High School caught the attention of the Daily News reporter visiting the Science Fair and the 7 Taranaki TV film crew...

Built by Year 10 students Nick Wells and Zac Dodunski


We have built a versatile and reliable "Laser-Force" simulator for only $20. The system is very easy to put together, is reliable, and would be great for a school lunchtime activity and home use. The Laser-Wars system uses a PICAXE-08 chip that is very affordable and very easy to program using free software. Pulse Rifles use the flash from disposable cameras supplied by the local Kodak camera store free of charge. We are very happy because it is much cheaper than the 'professional' made laser gun that averages at about $500 for the vest and gun. Our Laser Wars is fun to play at night but still works efficiently in day light therefore its better than the original "Laser Force" version.


Year 10 student Nick Wells with the combat outfit to be fitted with sensors and Pulse Rifle that is de-activated when you get "shot" by another Rifle.

No more combat games in the dark...


The prototype Pulse Rifle prior to assembly.

The Inglewood High students were awarded Second Prize in the Junior Technology section of the 2003 Fonterra Taranaki Science & Technology Fair.


Results and Discussion

There is a business in New Plymouth that is called "Laser Force". It is a game you play inside where you shoot people with "laser" guns hence deactivating their suit and gun and scoring points for yourself. We have noticed is that it has to be dark for the guns to work properly making night time the most ideal time to play this game outdoors. Our version of this game works at night but still works efficiently in daylight therefore it is better than the "Laser Force" idea.

1. The PICAXE-08 chip is very cheap and very easy to program using free software. It doesn't require soldering if you use a wish board
2. Beware! For your own safety you should not touch the ends of the capacitor as you will receive a shock!
3. We believe an infrared sensor is best because you can play in daylight unlike the real "Laser Force".

We have successfully tested many parts to make it a satisfactory device and carried out extensive field tests. We plan to add a sound effects chip to the Pulse Rifles and make different types of "weapons", eg, pistols and grenades.


This simple inexpensive and reliable device would be a great addition to any child's toy box and any schools Physical Education (PE) department. Our "Laser Wars" system is versatile because you use more then one type of light. If we use a PICAXE-18 we can run about 4 or 5 different lights all at once. It is good because you do not need lots of other PICAXE chips and it can store more data. Students could use this "Laser Wars" system to make lunchtimes less boring and more fun.

Download Terminator code:

For an example PICAXE-08 programme, here is what we used for the Science Fair;

Click for laser-wars.bas


RIGEL - Real-world interactive games and electronics link.

A SMARTboard capable interactive real-world game interface, datalogger and proces control system. Suitable for teaching, research and industrial applications. It also plays Laser Tag!



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