Asked — Edited

New Sensor I Found

[EDIT] In this thread, there may be broken links as time goes on. The purpose of the posts is to give members ideas to build on and be a repository for other people to add to as well. Happy building! Oh, let me add that I have no affliation to any seller or company. Always check out your suppliers before handing over your hard earned cash.

Well its new to me. I can see it now. "Dave, there seems to be an approaching storm. It's time to stop our soccer game and get inside":D eBay Link, Datasheet Link

Franklin Lightning Sensor provides early warning indication of lightning storm activity within a 40km range

  • Provides distance estimation to the head of the storm
  • Detects both cloud-to-ground and intra-cloud (cloud-to-cloud) ashes
  • Intelligent algorithm provides for false disturber rejection
  • Programmable detection levels enable threshold setting for optimal con gurability
  • SPI and I2C interface is used for control and register reading
  • Automatic antenna tuning
  • Supply voltage range 2.4 to 5.5V
  • Power-down, listening and active mode

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Here is another one for motion detection for up to 20 meters. eek Microwave Doppler Radar Motion Sensor User-inserted image Datasheet is here:

Edit: see post #6 for better one.

UPDATE: Here is another lightning detector that popped up. eBay Link


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In the olden days, we used to put a small pocket am radio and tune if off the channel. When lightning was around, we it would sound off. That was our lightning sensor. How much does that thing cost?


I think thats the principle behind it. An intelligent receiver that can differentiate between cloud to cloud and ground to cloud lightning strikes. eBay says it's $26 plus shipping but I just posted it because I like looking to new things.

United Kingdom

It's cheaper than I thought it would be. Can't say I'd have a use for it just yet but it's a sensor, they all come in handy :)

The motion detector may be useful though!


I sent off for one of those motion detectors to test it out. Since it's microwave I thought it may shoot through the robot plastic housing. Albeit at reduced range for sure. That way it will keep a smooth exterior look.


Update on that doppler sensor. It would equire additional circuitry to make function. After a little digging I found the same sensor as a complete item.

parallax item#32213 doppler sensor User-inserted image Details:

.Operation frequency of 10.525 GHz .Able to detect motion through walls and windows .More immune to false triggers than passive infrared motion sensors .Active-high enable pin with internal pull-up resistor .Power supply requirements: regulated 5 VDC, 8 mA .Communication: High (3.9 V) / low (0 V) signal oscillates with motion .Dimensions: 1.8 x 1.75 x 0.75 in (46 x 45 x 19 mm) .Operating temp range: +32 to +131 °F (0 to +55 °C)

Im all about simplicity. :} Update: It seems the comparator board only allows for detection from 8-30 feet. Im not sure there is an application for bots this at that range. :D


Simple is better till you get your feet under you and understand how to do stuff. That is why I like the Parallax ping they only use one port for signal and return.

United Kingdom

Simpler is better even when you understand how to do stuff. It's also cheaper a lot of the time.

Example is a current monitor, simple circuit (which is explained in one of DJ's early posts but I can't seem to find it right now) but it's cheaper, easier and neater to throw in one of these breakout boards.

Even if the breakout board, fully wired circuit or whatever is a few bucks more expensive it works out cheaper in the long run with the time and effort saved and you know you are pretty much guaranteed to get something that works right off the bat.


Nice find Troy! ....and yes I agree...K.I.S.S :)


If you are interested in ultra sonic sensors you might want to check out.

They used one of these as a range finder with an analog input in the First Robotics FRC program a couple of years ago.

The interesting thing is they show the detection patterns for their sensors. They are not cheap but they have both sonar and motion detectors.


OK these aren't sensors but they're definately worth looking at!

I literally laughed when I thought of one of our bots using a couple of these to shoot bubbles out of the ears. Mini bubble machine module. User-inserted image New link New link2

And this one seems like a good LED controller. I've seen them listed on Ebay. LED Magician User-inserted image


That bubble machine is cool. I may have a use for it. My big robot is going to be a steampunk dog, and I wanted to have a smokestack on the fake steam engine. I was thinking of using the liquid smoke and a heater coil like the garden railroad people use, but blowing bubbles out the stack would be funny.



You would need to modify the mini bubble machine somehow. It looks like only a 20sec burst from what I remember. Train smoke sounds good though. Be sure to get one large enough. I've seen them on Ebay but for smaller gauge trains mostly. They make smoke sticks that test cracks/gaps in the home for air leaks but I don't know the proper name for them.


It does look like it could be easily hacked to provide a larger reservoir if I want to go that route. Still going to investigate smoke, but on seeing this I thought I might want to be able to switch back and forth between smoke and bubbles depending on my mood.



I found this mini smoke generator on youtube for ya.


That is perfect ! Thanls for locating it.



That was a custom job that guy made. Here is one made with an E-Cig you can make.


Troy, I've enjoyed your finds. Please don't keep them coming when you run across something! This latest one is a good one!


I check the same handful of websites from time to time. Ebay, pololu, parallax, trossenrobotics, robotshop, sparkfun, servocity, banebots, robotstore, robotmarketplace, vexrobotics, superdroidrobots, dfrobot, etc. Sometimes there's something that stands out to me as a new idea or a part for sale. If someone has a new link to add, please add it here.


Thanks Troy! I am always eager to discover what new /odd sensor you find and post:) I think the one I am waiting for is the female hormone sensor so you k now when to run or when to cuddle :D


:D I'm afraid you have to rely on your experience and wisdom for that!


"Old too soon smart too late" :) I suppose it will have to remain one of life' s mystery's :D

South Africa

Since we are on the topic some robots have Sensors on their finger tips so they can hold a paper cup gently without crushing it does anyone now what sensor do you have to use for that sort of thing


@Mohamed.r LOL your autocorrect really threw me off. I assume you meant "sensors on thier fingertips". It would have to be an extremely sensitive pressure sensor. Have you researched the robot you saw it on? It may list the sensor parts.

South Africa

Sorry about that I'll edit it in a moment but yes I meant sensors on their finger tips the robot I saw it on was asimo and nao but even if you are making a robot with claws you can put pressure sensors on the claw so if you tell it to hold something fragile it will not crush it


How about this one? It looks small enough.

Technical Specifications:

Active area : 5mm Circle x 38mm Actuation Force: ~0.2N min Force Sensitivity Range: ~0.2N - 20N Ideal Operating range (90% or more of resistance change occurs between):10gf ~ 1.0kg (0lbs ~ 2.2lbs)

Force/pressure sensor User-inserted image

South Africa

It could work depending on the size of the claw or hand you are using


Love the sensors thread.

If I run across anything interesting I'll post it up.

Always looking for more goodies for R2.


@Lumpy By all means! There are a lot of sensor variations on the same kind but I try not to post well known ones. For instance I only put up the PIR sensor because it has a detection angle of 180 degrees. There are a lot of gas sensors out there but I havent posted them. I'm not sure many people are going that route.

I've put this other laser range finder in other threads but I noticed it isnt on this one. Here goes! Cheaper laser range finder. User-inserted image



Thanks a lot. A appreciate these updates. I check them often.

Here's a cool one using Nitinol AKA Flexinol as a sensor and actuator:




A couple new ones. Although capacitive sensors aren't new, these seem handy as a multi-button input device.

I imagine these would have to be mounted backwards with the flat side against the inner plastic wall of your bot and use some decals on the outside. TTP229 16 Channel Digital Capacitive Switch Touch Sensor User-inserted image

8 channel Capacitive touch button switch module TTP226 User-inserted image

TTP224 4-way Capacitive Touch switch Digital Touch Sensor User-inserted image

I've seen these forever but I thought I posted them on this thread. I guess not so here it is.

Optical Fingerprint reader Sensor Module User-inserted image


I confess. I don't know how this can be implemented in our robots but it is too cool of an idea. Scio Molecular Sensor

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The Scio is really cool. With ez-robots ability to be wifi connected and store data in a database, this really would be an amazing addition to a robot project. Thanks for sharing Troy!


I am somewhat skeptical of SCiO. I'll wait until they are actually shipping next year and I see some independent reviews. I would love to have a device that could tell me when fruit is ripe or starting to rot by "sniffing" the molecules it emits (and any number of other cool functions), and I think we are within a few years of that kind of technology being available, I am just not sure that SCiO has actually developed it.



wow, this is just like the tricorder spock used in Star Trek


Yeah I was skeptical but since they say that have a working prototype and all that money from kickstarter it may actually come to the market. It's a neat idea regardless.


Don't think I have seen this module on the forum yet. It might be useful to make a robot with voice recognition in hardware on the robot. Perhaps useful for robots controlled by mobile apps. Not near as powerful as ARC voice recog, when connected to a PC but might be interesting.


The technology of the SCiO is based on light the science for it has been around for over 100 years now and its how we know what stars are made of and because its works with light the SCiO would only react to the surface of an object its light is reflecting off.

Its a cool little Spectrometer

I would LOVE to have one


The dust sensor mentioned a little bit ago would be funny to use.

"I'm getting all dusty!" says wall-e.


Here is something useful if you have a salt water fish tank that you need to monitor the water level with an EZB. eTape Chemical Liquid Level Sensor From the websight

Key Features: Rated for chemical, petroleum, and food-safe applications Crimpflex male pins easily connect to microcontroller projects Reference resistor pins allow for optional temperature compensation Protected vent hole to equilibrate with atmospheric pressure

Application Ideas: Evaporation rate monitor Aquaculture projects Industrial mixing control systems User-inserted image