A coworker walked up to my desk and handed me this USB-controlled Nerf-esque dart launcher thing from Think Geek because it wasn't working. If it was dead, I thought I'd at least get a number of little motors and gears and whatnot. I took it home, removed all the screws and completely dismantled it to see how it works. It's ingenious inside. I won't get into it, but it's pretty cool. I decided to put it back together, sans its main circuit board. Everything appeared to work, as far as I could tell. I figured out that the darts were gripping the nozzles on the barrel of the gun to tightly, so I jammed a needle nose pliers in the back of the dart and spread 'em open a little more. That fixed it.
Next question: What to do with this thing. I removed the main board and had all the wires for the motors and the switches hanging out the hole where the USB cable used to be. Man Cave Security called and said we needed some kinda defensive system to connect to the new [fake] talking alarm pad. I'll post the rest of the photos of the finished weapon when it's completed. In the meantime, here is the reassembled launcher with a new 12-pin header soldered to the wires for easy breadboarding:
Here is a close-up of the header hanging out the back of this thing:
So, like I said, once I get some more work completed on this bad boy, I'll post the fun photos.