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Damien is a member of the VEX IQ Super User group, a small group of experts who collaborate with VEX to make the VEX IQ platform a better product 



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Dexter Industries - Thermal Infrared Temperature Sensor

I've been very lucky to have been sent one of Dexter Industries new Thermal Infrared Temperature Sensor

Whilst Xander over at BotBench has done a more indepth review (here), he was using RobotC and a fairly involved physical construction.  I was more interested to see how quickly I could get something up and running in a more basic situcation, typical of what a classroom teacher might experience.

So I took a DomaBot robot, added a few extra pieces to change the Ultrasonic Sensor to point to the side and added the TIR sensor directly below it. 

A simple program that drives the robot forward for 30 seconds whilst datalogging both the TIR and Ultrasonic sensor was loaded on.


I then constructed an incredibly complex and involved experimental setup.  (ok it was an empty softdrink can, a cold softdrink can, a metal water bottle that had been left out in the sun and a portable freezer pack :D )  


And here are the results.  Yellow line is the Ultrasonic sensor and the green line is the temperature.  You can see on the yellow line, 3 distinct 'dips' as the robot passes the first three objects.  The freezer pack was all scrunched up and probably doesn't really give a good surface for the US sensor to detect.  Lining up with each of these is a distinct change in temperature (apart from the empty can which expectedly shown no change).


 I was really happy with how easy it was to get this up and running.  Once the NXT-G blocks were imported, the TIR sensor showed up on the Datalogging selection screen without issue.  I orginally tried to log at 25 samples per second but later found out that is was capable of a max of 5 samples per second.  Whilst it would have been nice for faster sampling, it was easily compensated by slowing down the robot's speed. 

So....  What should I try next?

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Reader Comments (5)

Very nice!

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob Torok

where have you find the datalogging block ?

April 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertim

The datalogging block is in the 'Advanced' palette of the software. You'll need to go to the Dexter Industries website and download the add-in to make this sensor work with it.

April 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

can u tell the max distance the sensor can detect the temprature

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdede


I'm not sure of the official distance, but I had mine setup at about 30cm away and it worked well.

November 3, 2014 | Registered CommenterDamien Kee

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