360 Degree Configurable Infrared Sensor

This project is an introduction to a 360 degree configurable IR proximity sensor module for robotics, Kinetic art, air Music, HID devices

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A 360 degree programmable sensor for your micro Robot, UAV, Kinetic art or any other maker type project. It has a bundle of cool features embedded; including:

* Interfaces to Arduino, Teensy, MicroChip or any similar micro-controller that has a serial port.

* Multiple target objects can be tracked at the same time, such as in robot gaming or swarm robots. No moving parts!

* Left & Right ambient light sensing capability for photo-phobic / photovore games.

* The IR system also offers remote control (transmit and receive data) for simple inter-robot communication such as robot swarms, robot games, etc.

* Functions as a 3D / 360 degree HID sensor when connect to the ATmega32U4 type Arduino chip that has USB functionality; for creating touch-less mouse for gesture control, air music instruments, interfacing to Processing P3 / P5 for Radar graphics, etc.

*See list of commands:

Features & Benefits - Overview

  • Interface to Adruino, Processing, Java script for mechatronic and robot projects
  • 360 degree proximity sensing an example -> here
  • Ambient light sensing for tracking light sources or line following
  • Solid state - i..e no servos or moving parts. no noise - less power consumption
  • Instantaneous 360 degree sensor information (no waiting time for a servo to sweep sensor)
  • Smaller size & lower costs than for equivalent alternative technologies
  • Approx.  2mm - 300mm sensing range
  • Simple RS323 Interfacing 
  • Circular Display for instant feedback.
  • Antenna for simple robot touch sensing 
  • Multiple output formats (decimal, ascii)
  • Roll-Your Own Firmware 
  • Infrared Red Remote Control functionality
  • Inter-robot communication   functionality 
  • Features & Benefits - Details 

360 degree proximity sensing - It's like having eyes at the back of your head!  The sensor can be configured for simultaneous sensing in all 8 directions (a 360 degree scan) or you can probe in any of the 8 specified directions (N, NE, SE, S, SW,,W, NW). This allows a robot to 'see' in-front (when going forward)  or behind (when reversing). And at the same time monitoring other directions to determine relative movement of other robots or objects. Visual feedback via the LED circular display is also provided. Also 8 real-time proximity data values are sent, via the RS232 port, to your  microcontroller or PC application for additional interpretation or filtering. Connected to an PC, Mac or microcontroller such as an Arduino, it can also be used as a 360 interactive user interface - like this midi interface  example -> here  or 3D HID sensor

Ambient light sensing is included  - allowing your project to also measure ambient light intensity. This is great for Adriuino projects that need to sense day or night - light or dark. Also fun for robot games such as maze running, swarm simulation (search for light as food), photovore and photophobe robot experiments. The light sensors could also be adopted to follow black lines on the floor for line following robot. The lights sensors are connected to a 10bit A2D analogue to digital converter,  so other sensor types could also be attached too

Infrared Red Remote Control - Receive and transmit Sony SIRC Infrared TV remote control commands to control your project remotely

Simple Inter-robot communication - Transmit Sony SIRC Infrared remote control commands for basic remote communication and control of IR devices. Essential for robot gaming or swarms where simple messages need to be broadcast to other robots such as "I found food!"   
Simple RS323 Interfacing - Sending program instructions to the IRCF360 is easy using a simple 3 pin RS232 asynchronous serial communication. This is available on most micro-controllers such as PICAXE, Basic Stamp, Arduino, Amicus, Pinguino, Megabitty, Pololu, etc.. Serial connection is 9600 baud, no parity, 1 stop bit - True (i.e. not inverted). 

Circular Display - Visual feedback via a circular LED display allows you to see the results instantly. The circular display is also programmable, which means you can include amazing visual effects within your own microcontroller program (e.g. get LED's to fade-up / fade-down, spinning LED's, illuminating individual LED's). The circular display gives your project an individual personalty by building expressions, emotions or just general feedback on the current state of your application (e.g sleeping, scanning, searching, recharging, etc.). It's also especially helpful when debugging your programs (e.g. Light up a different LED for each subroutine your application is currently running). 

Antenna - Attach 'feelers' to the front of the robot for additional proximity sensing and tactile feedback 

Multiple output formats - Output via the RS232 serial port is in decimal, ASCII or delimited ASCII for connection to all types of  microcontroller application, PC application...

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