Magic Darts

Ars Electronica Festival @JKU

Mechatronics @ JKU proundly presents Magic Darts @ Ars Electronica Festival 2020

VISIT US @ Science Park 1, close to ENTRY/EXIT B
  Fr, 11.9. 13:00-18:00 | Sa, 12.9. 10:00-21:00 | So, 13.9. 10:00-15:00


The Idea

Darts is a popular game but difficult to play perfectly. In this darts version players always hit the bullseye. What looks like witchcraft is disclosed as a Mechatronic system: a novel microwave sensor network detects the approaching dart, algorithms compute its trajectory and continuously estimate place and time of impact at the dartboard. Only ultrafast hydraulic actuators enable to move the dartboard into the target position in a few hundredths of a second. Such technologies will affect our future daily life: in autonomous cars, where microwave radars allow seeing in the dark, with fog or dust, and algorithms have to estimate the motion of potential obstacles. Or in exoskeletons, where hydraulic actuation enables ultimate compactness, low weight and energy consumption, which are far beyond limits of current technologies but necessary for a broader application.


„The initially incomprehensible, the magic of such complex systems lies hidden in the dark, but shows its stunning results.“
Prof. Andreas Stelzer



The mechatronic system consists of sensors and actuators. Fast and precise movement through powerful hydraulic drives is accompanied with a novel network of next-generation radar sensors, seeing by day or night, in rain or fog. Fast signal processing for the estimatnion of position, velocity and time of impact finally controls the adjustment of the dartboard, faster than visible by the human eye.

„This demonstrator raises enthusiasm for excellent technology and transports the passion felt by its developers to others.“
Prof. Rudolf Scheidl



A passionate team is key to the success of a mechatronic system.

Team Electronics & Signal Processing

Team Mechanics & Hydraulics

„This platform for testing multiple sensors working together, can form a safety cocoon around a car, reliably detecting vulnerable road users, such as kids, pedestrian and bicycle riders.“
Assoz. Prof. Reinhard Feger



Take a closer look at the magic behind the dart board.