What is different about the Sharp IR Sensor?

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ArduinoArduino Tutorials and Guided ProjectsVEX + Arduino, Mobile Robotics Platform → What is different about the SHARP IR Sensor?

The Sharp IR Sensor

The Sharp IR sensor (Named for the company that designed it, not the presence of dangerous angled edges) is the only non-VEX sensor we will be using. It is such an excellent sensor, we couldn't pass it up. It will also give a nice glance into the world of third-party sensors.

The Sharp IR sensor.

Comparison to the regular IR sensor (line Tracker)

A normal IR sensor simply detects IR light and its intensity. This is great for an application such as line following. However, the Sharp IR sensor has a unique function: it has a special detector that not only determines if there is light, but it can also measure how far away an object is and return an analog value corresponding to the distance.

How it Works

The detector in the Sharp IR sensor is similar to the imaging sensor found in digital cameras. Since the detector and the IR LED have a fixed distance and orentation to eachother, the distance to an object will effect the angle at which the light bounces back. By looking at where the light hits the detector it is possible to calculate the angle of the light and therefore the distance to the object. This all happens on the sensor, so the Arduino does not need to perform any extra calculations.

The Sharp IR sensor can detect object distance.