First off I want to acknowledge that a similar question was asked about 7 years ago. For my senior project I am trying to develop a goal line technology for my club. From what i can find online, my best option would be to use a few PIR sensors. Someone had also mentioned IR LED sensors. The main issue is I need to detect a ball without the sensors going off due to human interference. I was wondering if PIR's would work as the ball shouldn't be the temperature of a human, but due to the force and friction of the pitch should be slightly warmer than the remainder of the area. Thus allowing me to detect a certain temperature level. I'm still learning engineering and plan on studying electrical engineering in college. Any help would be appreciated.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ you want to detect the condition "a soccer ball, and only a soccer ball, is crossing this plane (or not)"? that sounds really hard... I might be thinking "computer vision" if I was confronted with that requirement. \$\endgroup\$
    – vicatcu
    Nov 19, 2021 at 23:12
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Multiple camera angles, using AI to detect the object (Yolo V3, MobileNet SSD, etc.) Standard stuff you could do on a Jetson board. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 19, 2021 at 23:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ An internet personage managed to build a system that could detect and track a thrown basketball in real time, without being confused by the person throwing it. His approach to detection might be a good place to start. Good search terms: "Shane Wighton basketball". \$\endgroup\$
    – r-bryan
    Nov 20, 2021 at 1:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ what kind of a ball? \$\endgroup\$
    – jsotola
    Nov 20, 2021 at 2:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you will find the temperature due to the force and friction insufficient. It certainly won't be detectable if you use a PIR designed to detect warm living bodies. It's a different ball-game to roll your own PIR sensor but even then I think you will find the ball is not appreciably distinct from background temperatures. Just point an IR gun at it. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Nov 20, 2021 at 6:53

2 Answers 2


I love my son's senior research projects. And you have suggested a very creative idea.

I am giving you this, and you can go get a patent: Embed a RFID in the ball. That can be a simple Tattle-Tape. On the hoop, goal or whatever, you would put two detectors/antenna. When the second one gets a larger signal, you know the ball passed.

BTW, I believe this is original, but I have not checked.


Orginial Code OpenCv3.0 used python language:

import cv2
import numpy as np 

cap = cv2.VideoCapture(0)  # Use 0 for the default camera
line_start = (x1, y1)  # Starting point of the line
line_end = (x2, y2)  # Ending point of the 

while True:
    # Read the current frame
    ret, frame = cap.read()
    # Perform operations on the frame
    # Display the frame
    cv2.imshow("Frame", frame)
    # Check for the ball crossing the line
    # Your code for line crossing detection
    # Check for the 'q' key to exit the loop
    if cv2.waitKey(1) & 0xFF == ord('q'):


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