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NEW!! 360 Degree / 3D programmable Proximity sensor

posted Nov 5, 2010, 8:38 AM by ROBOTmaker Support   [ updated Mar 14, 2012, 6:49 AM ]

We're launching a completely new 360 degree programmable proximity and ambient light sensor - packed with many new commands !  Another great addition to your Arduino, Maker, Robot, Processing and Java scripting projects!
  • IR proximity sensing (360 degrees)
  • IR communication functionality
  • 3D HID sensing for your robot, mechatronic, kinetic art or any other maker projects. Interfaces via simple RS232 connection
  • 3D Mouse Control (additional / software hardware required) 


Robot Projects

The sensor is designed to fit onto micro sized robots (50mm x 50mm) where 360 degrees of proximity sensing, ambient light sensing and basic inter-robot communication is required, such as robot swarms, robot research, robot gaming and robot sumo competitions.

The sensors is also packed with two ambient light sensors (for light tracking experiments or line following) and IR remote control functionality so it can can read and transmit Sony SIRC IR control signals. This also allows you to take remote control of your robot (or any other device) using a TV controller (must be Sony SIRC compatible) or why not  perhaps use it for inter-robot communication during gaming. See more details here


Kinetic Art and other Maker Projects

Plug the sensor into your Arduino, Teensy, PICAXE, Basic Stamp or other microcontroller project, to add a 360 degree proximity sensing, ambient light sensing controller to your project.  Experiment  with 3D graphic control, control of servos, gaming and experimentation of kinetic art, 

3D Mouse / Keyboard / Joystick  Control

Plug the IRCF360 sensor into a Teensy2  to enable 3D mouse, joystick, keyboard interface to your Arduino projects. The Teensy2 can be configured as a USB device such as mouse, Joystick, keyboard which allows the sensor to control your PC or Mac ....adding new dimensions to your projects.

So how does this work?...By moving your hand over the sensor the direction and distance of your hand / fingers are sensed and translated into values within the Teensy2..... 

Gaming control

Keyboard emulation interface

Sensing directions are translated into keyboard keys. This is programmed into the Teensyduinon - sketch  using the usb keyboard commands: 

Keyboard.set_modifier(0);
Keyboard.set_key1(KEY_W); 
Keyboard.send_now();

e.g. configurate of the keys WASD to control online or Massive Multiple online (MMO) games - spaceship  speed control is achieved by mapping mouse or keyboard keys to the distance readings from sensor.

Mouse emulation interface 

Sensing directions are translated to mouse directions. This is programmed into the Teensyduinon - sketch using the Mouse.move (x, y) USB mouse command ;  e.g. configurate of the keys WASD to control online or Massive Multiple online (MMO) games - engine / speed control is achieved by mapping mouse or keyboard keys to the distance readings from sensor.

Joystick  emulation interface

Sensing directions are translated to Joystick directions or commands. This is programmed into the Teensyduinon - sketch using USB Joystick command  to add Z directional control to your project too. 

The  joystick usb interface  has 
  • 32: Buttons
  • 6: Axis (X, Y, Z, Rotate Z, Left Slider, Right Slider)
  • 1: Hat Switch
Joystick.X(value); 

// "value" is from 0 to 1023 Joystick.Y(value); 
// 512 is resting position Joystick.Z(value); 
Joystick.Zrotate(value); 
Joystick.sliderLeft(value);
Joystick.sliderRight(value);

Adding 3D Control to your Java and Processing Sketches

Using  Arduino or MAX232 serial interface to a PC the sensor can control your java and processing sketches. Examples are:   

Start writing your own Arduino or Processing.org sketeches to interface with the IRCF360 to visualise the results. The example below is the multi-blob tracking demo, where the two large blobs are tracking the closest and 2nd closest object. The brown 'spider-web' is a representation of all other directions. For more advanced Java programs & sketches the pattern could be used to interpret different hand gestures to add more advanced controls.