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'[EE]: What would one use an IR to voltage sensor '
2004\06\14@120551 by Lindy Mayfield

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Hi.  I have a TSL260R infrared light to voltage detector that I wanted to use for a proximity detector.  I've since come to the conclusion that it works ok in some instances, but not really for a robot.

So I began to wonder what this detector is normally used for, what sorts of applications, etc.  The datasheet doesn't mention anything.  Any ideas?

Thanks!
Lindy

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2004\06\14@235422 by hilip Stortz

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depending on what wavelength of IR it's sensitive to it could be used to
measure temperature, to detect fires, or to detect intruders.  when used
in a "motion" detector they are usually used with lenses that have bands
or grids of blind spots so that when someone walks past they are
alternately seen and not seen and thus generate a series of pulses, this
way you can avoid trips from heat ducts and such and only see things
moving across the field of view.

for the same reason most motion sensors fail if you walk directly
towards them, since you will be staying in view or out of view, or if
you move very, very slowly since you generate pulses too slowly and it's
discarded as noise.  of course in better alarm installations multiple
sensors are setup so that walking towards one means moving across the
field of view of another, and moving slowly enough is very, very hard.

this also means that shielding your heat doesn't make you "invisible" to
them because there will be natural heat sources in the room and when you
and your heat shield pass in front of them you'll be generating a pulse,
hence the phenomenon where snow can turn on a light with a motion sensor.

or they may be used for communications circuits where other circuitry
will remove the dc background signal and control the bandpass or where
you need to know when the background is so high that it's blinding the
detector and blocking any signals.  it's also useful in determining the
signal strength in some cases (particularly if aligning a "line of
sight" system).

Lindy Mayfield wrote:
>
> Hi.  I have a TSL260R infrared light to voltage detector that I wanted to use for a proximity detector.  I've since come to the conclusion that it works ok in some instances, but not really for a robot.
>
> So I began to wonder what this detector is normally used for, what sorts of applications, etc.  The datasheet doesn't mention anything.  Any ideas?
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2004\06\15@105320 by Lindy Mayfield

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> depending on what wavelength of IR it's sensitive to it could be
> used to
> measure temperature, to detect fires, or to detect intruders.
> when used
> in a "motion" detector they are usually used with lenses that
> have bands
> or grids of blind spots so that when someone walks past they are
> alternately seen and not seen and thus generate a series of
> pulses, this
> way you can avoid trips from heat ducts and such and only see
> things
> moving across the field of view.


Does this mean that my PIR motion sensor on my little robot can be used not just to detect motion, but as well to find warm things?  So I could put it on a servo and it could hunt down my cat?

I have some experimenting to do!  Thanks!

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2004\06\15@110122 by D. Jay Newman

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> Does this mean that my PIR motion sensor on my little robot can be used not just to detect motion, but as well to find warm things?  So I could put it on a servo and it could hunt down my cat?

My favorite use is to put two of them on the back of the bot at the rear
corners, each angled a bit out. They can be used to detect a child and
run away from them. Makes for fun all around. My next version I'm going
to add some more intelligence so that it knows some good hiding places
and when to go silent.
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2004\06\15@120625 by hilip Stortz

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absolutely!  one of the easy (it can be done all with analog circuits or
any micro) ways to track an object that puts out "x" signal is to have 2
detectors, one on each side of a barrier (i.e. a photo detector on each
side of a piece of cardboard or projection from the surface) and steer
the mechanism so that the signal stays at the same level on both
detectors.  if the object moves left the barrier cast a shadow on the
right sensor.  to make the signals equal again you turn left and vice
versa.  i've seen this done purely analog to track the sun as it moved
through the sky for an electronic sundial that rotated on a platform as
the sun moved with a pointer to the "sun" time.  to track in 2
dimensions you use 4 detectors in the corners of an "X" shaped
projection or a 4 segment detector is sometimes used to track a laser
beam from the target, keeping the signal equal in all 4 quadrants.

of course most targets aren't kind enough to aim a laser at you so you
can track them, but you get the idea.  a more advanced system can use a
camera and just try to keep the object/light/dark source in the middle
of the image, but really just using 2 or 4 detectors is often enough and
takes very little processing power.  of course with a camera, or even a
couple of sensors you can look for something that doesn't move with the
background as you change direction to find the moving object in the
field of view.

with one detector you can put a tube  or circular block in front of it
and wobble back and forth to see what direction the target is at.  there
are a lot of such games that can be played.

if you want to be really low tech, you could follow the governments
example.  a project was recently declassified where they tried to use
trained pigeons to guide missiles, the birds were in the missiles
looking at a screen and would peck in the direction the missile needed
to turn (this went of for years, close to a decade i think).  they got
some pretty good results but eventually electronics started doing
better.  no joke, they actually had birds in missiles steering them
after training the birds with a monitor and reward system to peck in the
right direction to keep an image centered.  sorry i don't have the
details handy, but i bet a google search would turn up something.  the
project was declassified a year or two ago and there had been some
suspicion that such a program had existed prior to the release (i think
the article i read was in one of the electronics industry magazines).

i've considered making a robotic toy for my cat for years.  it would
make an excellent project (i think there is a cheap cat toy that does
this, though i don't know if it has any sensors or just moves randomly).
basically an electronic mouse, preferably with an internal mass on a
motor so that when caught it could try and roll over or shake loose,
though of course you'd want to make sure to limit the forces generated
so as not to hurt a cat that was really getting into it....

Lindy Mayfield wrote:
------.
>
> Does this mean that my PIR motion sensor on my little robot can be used not just to detect motion, but as well to find warm things?  So I could put it on a servo and it could hunt down my cat?
>
> I have some experimenting to do!  Thanks!
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2004\06\15@145552 by Wouter van Ooijen

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> They can be used to detect a child and
> run away from them. Makes for fun all around. My next version
> I'm going
> to add some more intelligence so that it knows some good hiding places
> and when to go silent.

That sounds like a good approximation of my cat!

Wouter van Ooijen

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2004\06\15@160719 by D. Jay Newman

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> > run away from them. Makes for fun all around. My next version
> > I'm going
> > to add some more intelligence so that it knows some good hiding places
> > and when to go silent.
>
> That sounds like a good approximation of my cat!

Or my dog. He first got introduced to the child (Z) when she grabbed
Bug's cheek to lever herself up. Ever since then Bug won't go near Z.

But I want to have the robot come up to the child in imitation of puppy
play. It will go towards the child, stop, back up quickly, and basically
do everything it can to be chased. Then it will run away until it gets
caught (in which case it will play one set of happy tunes) or successfully
runs away, in which case it will play something more victorious.

Think "puppy" on wheels.
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2004\06\15@161921 by Shawn Wilton

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Now that would be cool.


D. Jay Newman wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2004\06\15@162125 by D. Jay Newman

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> Now that would be cool.

> > Think "puppy" on wheels.

And it doesn't sound too difficult. I even have an R/C PC Cruiser that
I can modify for this purpose.

The problem is finding the time.  :)
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