The Sensors – Part 2: Proximity Sensor

   The Sensors – Part 2: Proximity Sensor

   With the Today’s topic, we intend to point your interest in one specific direction – Let’s discuss the Proximity Detection. 

    Example: Imagine, your next project is: The Intelligent self-controlling and self-moving Robot with two fully-automatized arms.

   You will pay attention to Create The mechanical actuators, and angle step motor or servo positioning separate parts. You won’t forget the Battery And Recharging system and management.

   You also will write the best, complicated and sophisticated firmware.

   But, Every each your effort will be useless if the humanoid like structure has no sensing abilities.

   Sensors used in this design can be many as a kind – related with its position also as their count.  

   3-Dimentional representation of Robot’s BODY position can be performed by 3-Axis Accelerometer, e.g. ADXL345 with I2C Interface or similar. 


PIC. 1  Based on APDS-9960 Digital Proximity, Ambient Light, RGB and Gesture Sensor By Broadcom

AMAZON.CO.UK Affiliate Link: Broadcom APDS-9960 Digital Proximity, Ambient Light, RGB and Gesture Sensor

   If the Hall Sensors are used, the real angle position of legs, arms or each other movable parts or stages can be gotten, measuring the related Hall effect current, which is proportional a “polarization and strength” of coupled magnetic field. The System Hall Sensor – Rotor magnet is generally used in multiphase brushless motors, and in one new patent-pending system for endless Encoder and Push or pull button Based on the same principle. The system has the future in many gadgets and kitchen appliances, where the waterproof and cheap encoder has priority.

  3-Axis Tilt Sensors using ADXL345 and Magnetic coupled Hall effect based Sensors could be a subject by one of our next topics.

   Now we insert some proximity sensors into our virtual “Movo-Robo” project.

  As a definition, the proximity sensor has the ability to measure and to detect the presence of near moving or situated objects.

  For doing thatcan be used many principles – from infrared modulated light reflection principle, through capacitance changing influence, to Ultrasonic, Laser Doppler, and microwave principle of distance detection.

  We will try to insert the short diapason Infrared Modulated Proximity sensor, such as an integrated on the automatic shut-off valves in public places with many people passing.


  Variant 1. Pololu 38 KHz IR Proximity Sensor

AMAZON.CO.UK Affiliate Link: Pololu 38 kHz IR Proximity Sensor, Fixed Gain, Low Brightness



 Variant 2.  OSOYOO IR Infrared Obstacle Avoidance Sensor Module


PIC. 2   OSOYOO IR Infrared Obstacle Avoidance Sensor – TOP View


SCH. 1  OSOYOO IR Infrared Obstacle Avoidance Sensor  – Schematics 

OSOYOO 10 pcs. SET IR Infrared Obstacle Avoidance Sensor Module for Arduino Smart Car Robot 

AMAZON.CO.UK Affiliate Link: OSOYOO 10 pcs. set


  This device can be used in Hobby robotics and designs as a Sensor Module which can detect obstacles or near subjects.

OSOYOO IR Detecting Sensor Module – Key Features:

  • Used Comparator IC LM393 – {TI Link}
  • Module can detect near subject from the distance 2 to 30cm,
  • Detection angle is about 35°
  • With an adjustable resistor (the blue Philips Screw Enclosure on PIC. 2) can be set the wished detecting distance.
  • Output can be connected to I/O Port of MCU (Low active state), or direct drive relay (then it needs protection reverse diode, e.g. 1N4004),
  • 3-5V DC power supply.



Additional Material:

3.  APDS-9960  Digital Proximity, Ambient Light, RGB and Gesture Sensor By AVAGO

AMAZON.CO.UK Affiliate Link: The Cheapest PCB APDS-9960 Variant

4. Atmel AT42AT1010  Single-key QTouch® Touch Sensor IC By ATMEL


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