A good use for a Raspberry Pi - Missile Control

My brother gave me what will likely be one of the best useless-but-oh-so-fun gifts ever—a Dream Cheeky Thunder USB foam missile launcher.

Dream Cheeky Thunder Missile Launcher - USB

The launcher can be used with an extremely boorish app for Mac or Windows... or you can control it with some basic USB communication! I've found a few projects which allow the launcher to be controlled via any OS with Python fairly easily:

  • stormLauncher - A basic Python script that allows command-line usage.
  • Retaliation - A Python script that integrates with Jenkins build servers and fires at preselected targets upon build failure.
  • USB Rocket Launcher implementation - A quick overview of the USB commands to use the launcher.

My idea is to figure out a way to use one of my spare Raspberry Pis to give some brains to this launcher; I will hopefully be able to set it in 'patrol' mode, and by mounting a Pi camera on the top, I can use OpenCV to do facial detection, aim the missiles just under a detected face, and fire.

Responsiveness isn't amazing, but it would be a fun project to hack on when I get some time. For now, I'm happy enough using my keys to point it at someone (to usually myself since others aren't willing targets) and fire :)


Hello, I got maybe a raspberry pi starter kit and my kid finds this idea brilliant. Were you successful? I ordered the thunder launcher... now just need to figure out everything else. Any tips are appreciated! Ty

Alas, the missile launcher was eventually given to a friend who was able to make better use of it. I just never got around to this project after having a little fun shooting the missiles at my kids for a few days :(