Introduction: Motion Module

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of t…

The motion module is the most complex photocoupled device used in Simple Bots. It basically is a light switch coupled with a motion sensing nightlight. When someone in its general area moves, this triggers the sensor, turns on the light, and causes the bot to move. This is a simple way to start adding more complex behaviors to your bots and have them respond to their environment.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

- Motion sensitive nightlight (battery operated)
- Simple Light Switch
- Electrical tape

Step 2: Drill

Drill a 1/4" hole in the protective lens directly above one of the night light's LEDs.

Step 3: Insert and Glue

Place the light switch face down into the hole such that the lens of the switch aligns with the lens of the LED.

Hot glue it in place.

Step 4: Cover

Cover the entirety of the night light's lens with black electrical tape, to black out any ambient light from the room.

Step 5: Remove the Cover

There should be a fresnel lens covering the PIR (motion) sensor. This should appear to be a plastic honeycomb material.

Remove this lens, to expose the PIR sensor.

Step 6: Hack the Sensor

The sensor should appear to be a round metal tube with a shiny square in the middle.

What you really want to modify is the light sensor which is located next to the motion sensor. The light sensor should look like a flat disc with interwoven teeth on it or a clear LED (like our own simple light switch).

The light sensor is what allows the motion sensor to know that it is nighttime and should activate. We want the night light to always think it is nighttime. In order to do that, we need to cover the light sensor with electrical tape.

Step 7: Reassemble

Put the fresnel lens back on and it should now be good to go.

Remember that the longer lead from the simple light switch should go towards the positive side of the circuit and the shorter lead should go towards ground.

Robot Challenge

Participated in the
Robot Challenge