Asked — Edited

Track To An Ir Source ?

Hello to All, Happy Memorial Day,

I want to develop a tracking system using a IR LED in a tube, which allows a focused beam (may require a lens). This beam would be able to travel across a room. It could also be a coded number. I want to receive this signal and have my robot track to it. The concept for testing would be to use a universal tv remote as the transmitter and a IR receiver as the receiver, or a security IR beam unit.

I have no idea if this is realistic. I know some have used sound to track a robot. I wanted IR because it can also send numeric data which allows possible navigation if the beams stay a focused beam.

Could it work?



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You over thinking it... forget sending data over IR, it's a way too complicated for what you want to do... Use a simple ir beacon approach... The Roomba navigates to it's home base using a basic "IR beacon" type concept.... On board your robot you would have 2 or 3 IR receivers... Left, right and centre... And where you want to navigate to you would have a single IR emitter... Using a script you can determine which on board IR receiver has the strongest IR signal... So for instance, if the left IR receiver has the strongest signal, have the robot steer right, if the right has the strongest signal steer left and if the centre has the strongest signal drive straight. This will allow you to "home in" on and drive to your IR emitter.... You can buy the ir receiver and emitter as a pair ( so you will know they have the correct wavelength for the receiver to read the emitter....


Hello Richard,

I have a matched set of sensors somewhere which I will experiment with. Do you think I need to shroud or focus the beam?

The reason I wanted to also send data so I could use the IR for Navigation, kind of like sense beam to beam. What do you think? Any other ideas you can advise?

I will test the IR sensors on my Adventure Bot to see how they work.

Thanks for your thoughts,



You'll have to experiment to see if it needs a shroud or not... Most likely you will on the emitter....

If you want to use data transmission over IR, you going to have to use the UART port on the ezb and figure out how to decode the (serial) data coming in...


I'm personally holding out for DJ's indoor IR/Camera based navigation system. It uses a camera placed in the corner of the room (up high where it can see the floor space). This camera can be used to identify where the bot is and be able to route it anywhere in the room... You will be able to establish things like navigation routes and "keep out" zones....

All I know is it is currently in the works so I don't have any idea of a release date on it...


If you are looking at IR you might want to check out a pololu product for ideas. I have not used one, but they look promising. The pololu products mentions a potential of getting confused by reflections of the IR transmissions, that may be a concern to you. Also certain kinds of artificial lighting (e.g. some fluorescent lights) can interfere with the sensors. So if you are developing you own solution these are things to be aware of.


Maybe I should wait until DJ releases the new camera system. It sounds like a big step up from what I want to build. The idea I had was to do indoor navigation. If lighting and reflection can cause interference, I may back off . Money can go toward the new EZ stuff. I will just experiment with the parts I have around, but not put big effort into it if it doesn't pan out. Thanks to both of you.