Benefits and Features

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 here
  • 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
  • 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 (such as (processing.org) or simply a delimited spreadsheet file. 
  • Solid State - All this functionality without any moving parts, such as servos or gears! This keeps your design very simple, saves costs and reduces power consumption from your batteries
  • Smaller Size & Lower Costs - Much smaller size and lower costs compared to combining other types of IR sensors together to achieve the same effect 
  • Roll-Your Own Firmware - Pin-for-pin compatible to the PICkit2 programmer (from microchip) for direct programming of your own code. (Libraries will be available soon) 

Applications

  • A perfect 'shield' for any Arduino or other microcontroller project. Small enough to fit into small hand-help case
  • Connect to PC (via logic leveller) and develop your own processing.org sketches. Examples have been:
    • 3D interactive midi interface to create 3D music effect and 3D hand held drum machine
    • Perfect for interactive art or even wearable electronics building impressive LED feedback emotions
    • Hand held games using IR sensors
  • Ideal for micro robot application, especially  where small sensor size is required (e.g. 50mm x 50mm). Fits directly on top of a small robot controller such as Pololu Orangutan which includes two motor controllers
  • Build a swarm fully autonomous robots with with programmable and natural emergent behaviour. The robots can work using biological algorithms to complete a task as a group and to exhibit a collective swarm memory 
  • This little intelligent sensor is perfect for sumo competitions,  micro combat robot competitions and swarm robot navigation. Here are some videos taken directly from within the lab to give you some ideas of what's coming
  • "Canned" functionality,  which means "pre-programmed" functionality 'out the can' -  without months of headache and painful programming or messing around with your own circuits
  • Simple to assemble - even for the novices technology enthusiasts. Takes about 30 minutes
  • Great for classroom training and flexible to be re-used for many experiments covering wide range of topics