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www. e f y ma g . c o m electroni cs for you march 2008 103
his infrared obstacle-detector
can be used not only with line-
following robots but also as a
part of home/shop automation.
The circuit uses an infrared trans-
mitting LED (IR1) and an infrared
receiving diode (IR2). It works off a
5V DC regulated power supply. A
short invisible light beam transmitted
by IR1 when refected from an obsta-
cle or object is received by IR2. Upon
detecting the obstacle, the circuit gets
activated and turns on an aural alert
circuit for a few seconds. The alarm
sound is produced by loudspeaker
LS1. Visual power-on indication is
provided by an ordinary red LED
(LED1). The home-made sensor con-
sisting of IR1 and IR2 is at the heart of
the circuit. Alternatively, you can use
an integrated opto-refective sensor
(CNY 70).
Here, IC1 is wired as an astable
multivibrator with adjustable pulse
width, ranging from 1 millisecond to
10 milliseconds with component values
of VR1, R1, R2 and C1 as shown in Fig.
T.K. Hareendran
Ir ObsTacle-deTecTOr FOr rObOTs
1. Use multiturn preset potmeter VR1
to set the output pulse width. The out-
put pulses from IC1 drive the infrared
transmitting LED (IR1) through low-
power transistor T1. Resistor R4 limits
the input current of IR1 sensor.
When the refected infrared light
beam falls on IR2, current flows
through resistor R5, which produces a
positive voltage at the base of transistor
T2 to make it conduct. When transistor
T2 conducts, alarm-driver transistor
T3 remains forward biased until the
obstacle is cleared, i.e., it goes out of
the sensing range.
When transistor T3 conducts, asta-
ble multivibrator CD4047 (IC2) is ena-
bled by the high signal at its pin 5. IC2
needs only two external components
(R8 and C3) to oscillate. The audio
signal output from IC2 is amplifed
by Darlington pair of transistors T4
and T5. Resistor R10 limits the current
Fig. 1: IR obstacle detector
Fig. 2: Home made sensor mounting
through the loudspeaker (LS1).
Assemble the circuit on any gen-
eral-purpose PCB and house in a
suitable cabinet. Connect the sensor
through the external wires and fx it
according to your requirement at a
suitable place. In robotic applications,
the high-level output available at the
emitter of transistor BC548 (T3) can
be used to control relay/motor-driver
circuits of the machine.
Notes. 1. The circuit can detect ob-
stacles up to a distance of 10 cm when
the sensor and the obstacle are proper-
ly aligned. The range mainly depends
on the refecting properties of obstacles
and the type of the opto-refective sen-
sor LED used in the circuit.
2. The home-brewed sensor ar-
rangement is shown in Fig. 2.