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I'm creating a Nerf gun target with Arduino for my little brother. To detect the impact I was thinking about using piezo's. They would be located on the back of the targets (alimunium plates that do not bend). I'd like to know if it's possible to detect an impact, despite the fact that the material doesn't look like it's vibrating (and assuming that the target can't move freely on impact).

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A) Yes, it's perfectly possible to detect impacts with piezo's.

B) No, you're not going to use them to detect nerf gun hits.

For piezo's, the problem of distinguishing between noise (vibration, etc) and an impact is (for relatively gentle impacts) a real issue. What you need is a very hard, short impact process, and I'm afraid nerfs just don't fit the bill. Add to this the extra impact-like signals you'll get from things like footsteps, and you're looking at a pretty hopeless situation.

You're free to try for yourself, but be prepared for frustration.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This clarified a lot, thank you. I'm new to piezo's, I had never heard of these weird thingy's. I'll take your advice and look for an alternative. However, I have a friend who has got a few airsoft guns and likes to shoot targets. Do you happen to know if that would be possible? Thanks in advance. Edit: Talking about whether it's possible to detect the impact of airsoft BB's \$\endgroup\$ – Dieter Nuytemans Jun 3 '18 at 18:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ BBs are harder and travel faster that nerfs but also very lightweight, so their impact is also quite low. So it too will be challenging to discriminate from other things that cause vibrations. If attempting this I would add piezos also around the target, and try to discriminate by looking at differences. Machine learning might be needed. \$\endgroup\$ – jonnor Jun 24 '18 at 17:49

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