The Story Behind Smart Armaments and the SIGMA AEP MOSFET

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How We Met

The story of Smart Armaments began a few years ago, when Michael, the CEO of the company, was a co-founder of an aerial drone company in Europe, which supplied the biggest European construction companies like SKANSKA. 

Michael is an R&D engineer with a passion for improving day-to-day life and making every part of it better through the use of cutting-edge technologies. It was while developing drones and working hand-in-hand with Greg, the current CTO of Smart Armaments and an electronics engineer, that Greg’s hobby of playing airsoft brought forth a great idea. 

Greg wanted to organize an airsoft event for friends and coworkers at a local airsoft field; which is where the team would get together. The other two members of the Smart Armaments team, the current Heads of Product Management and Marketing Adrian and Matt, were working together on a couple of IT-related projects with a background in e-commerce and software development. 

On that airsoft field, the four of us got to know each other and that’s how our airsoft adventure has begun. That was the first step to creating Smart Armaments but at that time we didn’t know that yet.

Table of contents:

  1. How We Met
  2. MILSIMs and Prototyping
  3. The Future of Smart Armaments
  4. SIGMA AEP MOSFET
    1. Why Did We Choose to Build an Airsoft MOSFET for Pistols
    2. The Problem With Every Airsoft Pistol
    3. The Challenges We Faced During the Prototyping Phase
    4. How We Overcame Them
    5. What Are the Results
      1. Debouncing
      2. Cycle Detection
      3. Haptic Feedback
      4. Burst Mode
      5. Battery Supervisor
  5. The Next Steps

MILSIMs and Prototyping

After playing at a few airsoft events, Michael, true to his nature,  started to think about what can be improved in airsoft, how could he utilize his engineering and prototyping skills to change the way people play airsoft.

Michael realized that there was a lack of innovation in the airsoft industry. Most players are stuck using outdated technology from the ’90s, sometimes even the ’80s, despite the leaps that technology has taken over the years. Few players could afford military-grade equipment that could give them a tactical advantage.

At that time, Michael was already well-known in the local airsoft community as a guy who was always prepared for every airsoft MILSIM like it was a matter of life and death. He was the guy who was tinkering with lights, sensors, and alarms months before the MILSIM.

Several times he helped to design and build his team’s base, enhancing it with alarms and motion detection based lighting systems. These enhancements managed to protect his team from night attacks. 

He has written a helpful article on our blog on the ultimate preparation for MILSIMs. You can read it here.

That time, Michael came up with an idea of a tactical computer for an airsoft gun. He spent a few weeks secretly working on his idea and then he arrived at an event with a working prototype attached to his airsoft gun (AUG).

We felt that the airsoft community could benefit from Michael, his ideas and inventions. This was the moment when the idea to create Smart Armaments was born.

The Future of Smart Armaments

Before writing this article I interviewed each of us to get everyone’s perspective. It led me to realize that we have a common vision of what we want to achieve and what our mission is. 

We believe that airsoft is an exciting hobby and for some, even a passion. During our airsoft career, we have met a lot of passionates who love to travel abroad to play and meet airsofters from other countries or even organize international events.

We have also met a lot of players who give 150% of themselves to make their team succeed. We have seen that those airsofters who are really interested in everything that can improve their performance and that they really care about their teams.

Our vision is to make use of our expertise in R&D, software and hardware development combined with our own airsoft experience to supply every airsoft veteran with new technologies. Technologies that are both innovative and affordable, allowing anyone to improve their team and personal score by enhancing their situational awareness and superiority in the game. 

We want to build a brand that will become well-known in the airsoft community and will be associated with innovation and cutting-edge technology.

Smart Armaments logo slogan brandbook
A shoot from Smart Armaments Brand Book during the logo creation.

Our roadmap consists of an ecosystem of complementary devices that bring more benefits when all of them are combined together, but that also is able to standalone.

SIGMA AEP MOSFET

Why Did We Choose to Build an Airsoft MOSFET for Pistols (a.k.a. AEPs)

As I mentioned above, Michael came up with a prototype of a tactical computer for airsoft guns, which later was assembled into a fully-working accessory attachable to AEGs.

But we know the reality and the stage we are currently at just getting awareness in the airsoft community.

Michael is a fan of AEPs (airsoft electric pistols) because they are durable and they work without any problems during the cold seasons of the year, where CO2/Green Gas pistols fail. Those sidearms are especially popular among airsoft snipers, and winter is one of the best times to play airsoft.

We decided that building an airsoft MOSFET will be a good place to start to get on the market and to show what we are capable of. We did want however to give a sample of our expertise by enhancing this MOSFET with more advanced features than what a simple MOSFET unit provides.

The Problem With Every Airsoft Pistol

When it comes to pistols there are almost no ways to tune and modify them besides applying a lipomod, which is just replacing out the stock NiMh battery for a Li-Po one.

According to our research, an increasing amount of people are starting to use AEPs as they are cheaper than gas pistols and they work in all weather conditions. As players ourselves,  we know that most airsofters like to modify their guns; so this problem is affecting a lot of owners of airsoft pistols.

We noticed this niche but we could not find a single advanced or computerized MOSFET unit that was designed to fit in the small amount of space that is leftover in an AEP.

The Challenges We Faced During the Prototyping Phase

We divided our team into two subteams; a hardware team and a software team. Michael was in charge of the hardware development of the SIGMA MOSFET and Greg was in charge of the software development.

During its development we faced the following challenges:

  1. Fitting standard-sized components that are used to build a MOSFET into an airsoft pistol.
  2. Finding a way to build a MOSFET at an affordable price, not higher than the cost of an AEP itself. 
  3. Developing advanced algorithms that would work the same for different replicas.

How We Overcame Them

Because the main challenge with the SIGMA AEP MOSFET was the size that we had to achieve to allow it to fit into every airsoft pistol available on the market. We needed to put a lot of effort into finding the right components, processors, and microcontrollers that allow us to achieve our goals.

Those two goals were to make a small MOSFET, which at the same time would allow us to create a product at an affordable price, so it will be accessible for every airsoft veteran in the world. 

The smaller the components are, the more expensive they get. Therefore we found a perfect balance between these two traits. Thanks to our know-how in electronics design were able to place the components on the MOSFET to avoid making it more expensive than an airsoft pistol itself.

We collected as many different airsoft pistols as we could, such as: Glocks, UMPs, Berettas, Five-Sevens, and others to find the one with the smallest slide to make sure that the SIGMA would fit it.

What Are the Results

We created a MOSFET unit that is designed to fit every airsoft pistol, which at the same time is easy to install.

 

 

From the software perspective we managed to develop the following features:

  1. Debouncing

This is the basic and fundamental feature of an airsoft MOSFET, as it prevents the trigger contacts from wearing due to the flows of high current through them. With a SIGMA all the current flows through the MOSFET, protecting an AEP.

It helps you to prevent the potential future failure of a gun and it helps you avoid necessary recurrent cleaning to maintain your pistol’s performance.

  1. Cycle Detection

This is a feature that is a bridge to more advanced smart features like pre-cocking or burst mode. Thanks to a software algorithm working in real-time, the airsoft pistol doesn’t require the installation of any additional sensors inside it to allow the use of additional fire modes.

  1. Haptic Feedback

If you have ever played Xbox or PlayStation then you are familiar with the controller using vibrations to inform you about events happening in the game. What if you could have it during your airsoft game?

Basically, this is what this feature is responsible for. Haptic feedback will make sure that you know the status of your batteries or the configuration of the MOSFET. 

  1. Burst Mode

This is a new firing mode for your AEP. We have ported the famous mode from M4 carbines into an airsoft pistol. It helps players to increased their chances of hitting the target while helping to conserve ammo during contact with the enemy. The SIGMA allows you to control the number of bullets that will be shot per trigger pull.

  1. Battery Supervisor

Batteries that are used in airsoft guns have one disadvantage. If you use them under its minimum safe charge level it may end up damaging them. The SIGMA will inform you about a low battery through the haptic feedback and will stop the gun from firing to save your battery, saving you the cost of buying a new one

The Next Steps

How Can You Support Us

The best way right now is to join our community by subscribing to our newsletter, following us on Instagram and Facebook and sharing the SIGMA MOSFET with your teammates and the local community.

This will help us tremendously to reach as many airsoft pistols owners as possible and allow us to release more products sooner.

Make sure you check out the SIGMA AEP MOSFET.

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