September 17, 2011


How to detect if your robot has collided with a wall or object?

A Micro switch is one of the easiest ways of letting your robot know that it has collided with something. The simplest way to do this is to fix a micro switch to the front of your robot in a way so that when it collides the switch will get pushed in, making an electrical connection. Normally the switch will be held open by an internal spring.

Micro switches are easy to connect to micro controllers because they are either off or on, making them digital. All micro controllers are digital, so this is a good option.

The following diagram shows a typical circuit for a micro switch bump sensor. The resistor is important because it holds the signal line at ground while the switch is off. Without it the signal line is effectively 'floating' because there is nothing connected to it, and may cause unreliable readings as the processor tries to decide if the line is on or off.

 you can get a micro switch easily from  

or if you don't want to get collided you can certainly use an optical sensor as mentioned in my earlier post.


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