The Pololu IR beacon is a compact board that is used in pairs to allow robots to locate each other.
The Pololu IR beacon is a compact board that is used in pairs to allow robots to locate each other. Each board has infrared emitters that shine in all directions and four IR receivers for detecting the other beacon. The IR beacons have a range of about fifteen feet indoors. This item is for a pair of beacons in one package.
These transceivers are meant to be used in pairs, as they are tuned to detect each other. You can use the beacons to build pairs of robots that interact or chase one another, or to make a robot that can identify and return to a home base. For example, you could build a “cat robot” and “mouse robot” that each have an IR beacon, where the cat chases the mouse and the mouse runs away from the cat. The beacons are ideal for autonomous robot contests in which robots compete in pairs, such as MIT’s annual 6.270 autonomous robot design competition.
These round-shaped beacons feature six wide-angle emitters to provide uniform broadcasting in all directions. The operating voltage range is 6 – 16 V, and on-board voltage monitoring enables a more consistent output brightness over the voltage range. Most components are pre-assembled, so all you need to solder is the capacitor, connectors, and sensors (make sure you solder them in from the bottom of the PCB!).
Note: The Pololu IR beacon is a kit; before using it, you need to assemble the beacon by soldering its components onto its circuit board. To use the kit in robotics projects, you need to connect it to your own robot controller. Please note that the IR beacons only work in pairs and that certain kinds of artificial lighting (e.g. some fluorescent lights) can interfere with the sensors.
Check them out with this customer-produced YouTube video