I would like to design an nxn IR long range break beam sensors and place them on a table with receiver at one side and transmitter over the other

Length of the table is 155 cm and width is about 140 cm.

The idea is, to place an array of IR break beam sensors. Any object that falls within the IR grid, needs to be detected and the signal needs to be sent to an arduino / micro controller

Below is a high level sketch:

enter image description here

  1. Objects that needs to detected within the IR grid ,are of ping pong ball sizes
  2. I need to send the output(whether a beam got broken or not) in the digital form to a micro controller
  3. Finally, from the micro controller ,i am planning to transmit the data via blue-tooth to a smartphone.

I have just started to think about 2)

Did some googling and came across this https://youtube.com/watch?v=1vBegJTG-vE&t=7s

In my case, i will have to use multiple such sensors.

  1. Could anyone throw me some pointers on the direction i need to take ?
  2. Do i need to design a PCB which would comprise of several sensors?
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would start with a single tx/rx like the video, then angle one relative to the other, you said IR not laser not that laser doesnt have this problem. Notice that ir is not a tight beam. Then maybe build a handful receivers and use the one transmitter, run your ping pong ball through that and see what happens. If you think it will still work then yes build some boards, pretty easy to do with kicad or eagle, oshpark or one of the places in asia. \$\endgroup\$
    – old_timer
    Jul 29 '18 at 19:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ you might want to use microcontrollers on one end or the other in the first place rather than send individual signals from the receivers. depends on your design. \$\endgroup\$
    – old_timer
    Jul 29 '18 at 19:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your array idea has a problem to be overcome: IR-LED probably can't be confined to a ping-pong diameter at 1.5m distance. That means a single IR detector can see multiple LEDs...your detector array can be blocked by large objects, but not by smaller objects. \$\endgroup\$
    – glen_geek
    Jul 29 '18 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ A VL53L1X may be a more appropriate solution: st.com/content/ccc/resource/technical/document/datasheet/group3/… \$\endgroup\$ Jul 29 '18 at 19:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ No . I meant it is not possible to detect anywhere \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30 '18 at 4:09


Do you think the sensors will interfere with the game?

Even if above was ignored, the ball can be missed.

Since the round edge hitting the table has a very small edge touching the table and there is no optimal beam size to catch every contact with the surface.

This won't work.

  • \$\begingroup\$ No, the sensors will not interfere with the game. Sensors would be placed at the edge of the table and idea is to to cover only half the table. The image that i have shown , represents the top view of the table. Image - encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/… , if you may look at this image.. total length is 274cm . Sensors would be placed only on one half ,i.e., resultant dimensions would be 153 cm X 137 cm \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30 '18 at 5:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are not understanding. The sensors must stick above the table edge and interfere and 2) will not be able to block between gaps of two balls touching \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30 '18 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ It needs to detect only ball at a time hit by the opponent from the other side of the table. Anyway , as others have suggested, I need to try it out..make mistakes and learn in the process. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 30 '18 at 15:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Try an experiment with a small flashlight and a ping pong it is impossible to not see the flashlight except during an eclipse \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31 '18 at 11:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is why it is a bad idea \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31 '18 at 12:08

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