Speed, size, environment, detection method...
Detection method - that is something I was hoping you could tell me. I mean I have seen some people use PIRs, or Ultrasonic sensors, but I was hoping to get other peoples input on what they think might be a viable detection method.
Environment - I want to start off as basic as possible. Maybe like a slow moving object, and using an array of PIR's to track it moving horizontally. That would be a start most likely. Maybe also try it with ultrasound and see what works better. Or maybe even using a camera - but then I would need to figure out how to use a camera in that fashion. Would it be possible for me to send data to the arduino from my PC via serial? what about having the arduino utilize a file on my computer that is written to by another program reading the camera data - is that possible?
Speed - I would love for it to be really fast, but then that is really all dependent on how good my motion tracking is. I do have 2 laser scanners with a horizontal laser that I could attempt to make some sort of LIDAR, and I think that would probably be the fastest method... however, that is way beyond me and would not be a starting point.
Size - I'm thinking like mini rc helicopter size. Like something that can easily fit on my table
No you have it wrong. The Arduino does not run a command on an other computer. The Arduino sends a message to the other computer and that computer does something with the data it is sent.
Got it. So based on some more research it seems it is also possible to send messages through serial to the arduino - is that true? Or above, i suggested maybe having the arduino read a file on my computer that is altered by an external program.
You have chosen a heavy weight project and I think your current skills are not up to it. It is sort of like if you have to ask then it is too hard. Start off with something that won't get you arrested as a terrorist.
It's fairly straightforward honestly. The technology has been around for years. I think the hardest part of the project would be the physics algorithms. But for now I am going to gradually work my way up. Start with a basic concept. First I need to figure out how to communicate between my computer and my arduino. Then try and figure out how to track an object in 2d space. Next try and track an object in 3d space. Next step would be tracking and prediction, followed by tracking and intercepting. It's not "sort of like if you have to ask then it is too hard". It's sort of like I'm trying to get a baseline / feel for the project - is it possible with items that I have or are easy to obtain, what would be some issues I might need to look out for.
I also don't see how this could get me arrested for terrorism. I'm not building a giant turret or anything, just a concept I was curious about.
Pixy would probably be the easiest way to getting started with some sort of machine vision tracking system.
That looks pretty cool actually. I think you may be right with this being a starting point. I'll have to do some more research on pixy.