Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Arduino (Lights and Sensors)

Subtitle: I Swear I Know How To Use Computers

Preface: The end product really…. isnt very complicated.  I cycled through trying out some 3/4 sensors because I got overexcited and then after, had a decent amount of difficulty getting my various ideas to work which is hilarious because… I should definitely be better at this. Oh well.


So after spending time in class playing around with:

  • 2 magic ring sensors (able to tell when they’re being tilted, pretty neat.), considering making a steering wheel

Magic rings were fun! Pairing two of them together was an interesting idea, so I spent a pretty decent amount of time with it. A lot of the more neat ideas I had required a little more precision than the magic rings alone could offer, but I was pretty sure that at minimum, a basic steering wheel would be doable with two of them paired up. A tthat point I realized that might overlap a little more closely with what we’ll do next week, so I ended up opting against it.

  • a proximity sensor (self explanatory) +buzzer in hopes of making a “stay away from me” alarm

Another fun in-class idea. The buzzing noises from the buzzers is /extremely/ irritating, so I figured, put that to good use. If someone got too close to the proximity sensor, send it blaring as a “Get Away From Me” thing. Unfortunately, some others in the class also had this excellent idea, so I figured I’d just branch out and try some other things instead. (Although proximity sensors are always cool).

Out of class, I spent a pretty decent amount of time playing around with IR receivers and transmitters, and was really considering working with that, just because, they’re extremely cool! Unfortunately, most tutorials/guides seemed to opt for having an IR remote to play with, to pair up with the receiver. I think if I had spent some more time on playing with the transmitter + receiver I could have figured it out, but I ultimately figured that if I wanted to play with it, I would want to do so with a remote as well, to get the best out of it.

I also.. apparently forgot to take pictures of this too, sorry.

I ended up with the photointerrupter, which is a neat little peace that has a u-shaped bit that transmits a beam across the u-shaped part. When the beam is broken, the signal the photointerrupting is sending back to the arduino changes. 

(Google images photos coming up because I didn’t think to take close up pictures.)

Image result for arduino photo interrupter

Image result for arduino photo interrupter


These are my photos:

Anyway, in terms of prototypes, I was thinking some sort of setup that would turn off a light as soon as a door closes (like when it clicks into place). Specifically, I was thinking of it being triggered by a /screen/ door, or something similar (because otherwise the lights would turn off by default every time you shut the door, which would be irritating). So, once you shut the door, it would close by default.


….I do have a storyboard for this, but its /incredibly/ ugly, so we’re holding off on it. 

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