Implementing Infrared Object Detection

This page is going to describe the parts, schematic, softw1are, and some tips on using Infrared for object detection. The parts used are typically the same parts found in most consumer electronic remote controls, and are widely available. If you have an old TV or other IR remote device, you have the makings of a nice IR detection system. The tw1o
Implementing Infrared Object Detection - schematic

basic parts for working with IR are the emitter and the detector. The emitter is typically an LED that emits near-infrared light. A typical wavelength is 880nm, which is just beyond the human eyes ability to see. Many suppliers, new and surplus, can provide you with sources of LED emitters. A typical IR detection system will use tw1o emitters. By controlling when the emitters are active, the detection system can determine simple directional information: Left, Right, or Front. There are several types of detectors for IR light. There are photo-diodes, photo-transistors, and a couple others. Usually, you buy IR emitter/detector pairs, which are tuned for each other. This is recommended when buying surplus, since chances are someone has verified they work together. The other important detector for working with IR is a detector module, such as the Sharp GP1U5 (also the G1U52X) module. This module contains the IR detector and a small circuit that detects a 40khz modulation (i. e. the IR light is flashing on and off at about 40khz). The nice part about using a modulated light is the ability to reject noisy light signals. The world is full of light sources. Being able to detect a certain quality of a light, such as flashing at 40khz, means you can filter out much of the light you don`t want. The above photo shows these parts installed on the front of a robot. The Sharp IR detector module is the square box at the top of the frame,...

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