Using Infrared Sensor to Create Art Object

Introduction: Using Infrared Sensor to Create Art Object

About: I'm here and making something.


I want to share one of how I used my simple sensor Infrared sensor (IR) for my artwork. This artwork named ' Close to You'. It is an interactive art which has almost everything exactly like a normal fan but, the fan. Lol :D

I came up with the funny though, what if a fan is to boring to make a cool wind to us but want to tease us. The fan will move only if someone stand very very close to it. ....But even if the fan is moving, we still can't touch its cool. ((Sorry, human.X_X))

Close to you is one of the artwork in the collection of Fans in my Interactive House Objects Project.

my IR sensor circuit works when it detects any objects close enough for sending its signal to the receiver which is a Phototransistor. The sensor then let the power goes on in the circuit and make things work so basically its job is like a switch, but with other electronic appliances in this circuit we can adjust the sensitivity.

Watch the video down there

Step 1: Making a Sensor

First of all we have to make a sensor.

This sensor circuit has designed to combine 2 electric circuit of the IR sensors into 1 board. It means that you can use this to make a simple moving toy or use 2 set of IR sensor in with this circuit board as the pictures show there are two side of sensor and motors. So technically, you can put electric appliances only one side of the board to use only a set of sensor and a moter. ( **Note thet the motor will be at the opposite side of its circuit. Foe example, M1 which located in the top left of the board will use all the electric appliances on the right side of the board so M2 will use others in the left side)

***For the picture #2, there are an example of the circuit but you don't have to weld the sensor like that because we will have to attach them into the fan's face cover. Only do that if you would like to test the circuit and the switch of the fan.

Right here, I have already upload photos of the circuit so you can copy it and make one.

What you need:

-2 resistors 620 ohm (Blue Red Brown Gold) --> soldering postion are at R1 and R8

-2 resistors 5k ohm ( Green Black Red Gold) --> sodler position are at R2 and R7

-2 resistors 100 ohm (Brown Black Brown Gold) --> R3 , R6

-2 resistors 10k ohm ( Brown Black Orange Gold) --> R4,R5

-6 Transistors 2N3904 NPN

-1 Transistor 9012 PNP

- 2 Adjustable resistors 100k ohm (104 blue and white) --> VR1,VR2

- 3 capacitors 100 uF 16v

- 2 red LEDs 5 ml.

- soldering iron

- wires

- solder

To test the sensor :

- Don't turn the sensor (IR and PT) face the light directly because the light will make the IR send the signal to the PT

- If using an object for the sensor to detect, use an object with bright color. Do not use object with black or dark color.

- Turn the Adjustable Resistor counterclockwise to its limit then start to testing the sensor (Weaving a hand or something in front of the sensor) if the LED is not turn on or the motor still doesn't work then turn the Adjustable Resistor clockwise a little more (a very very little more) untill it works out. ** You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor at this point, by turning this resistor till you like it. *** REMEMBER to only turn the resistor a little more each time. If you have turn it too much or lose the level of it, you can start it over by turn the power off and trun the resistor to counterclockwise to its limit then turn on again but you may have to wait for it to reset their value to or you may have to turn off and on for 2-3 times.

If the sensor doesn't work:

- Check the battery. It works well with Alkaline battery. If you use rechargeable battery, it may not work properly due to the lower volt and mA of this battery kind. (Alkaline is 1.5v but, rechargeable battery is 1.2v)

- Check the wire and the print-wiring board if every lines are all right connected

- Check the electronic appliances, if they are all place at the right positions.

Step 2: See What's Inside the Fan

Now, I'm going to pull thing we don't need out and put things we use inside. So let's remove the screws and knots.

What we don't use :

- An original big moter in the fan's head

- Wires that attrach with the switches; cut them off but keep them, use it to attach with the circuit will make thing easier because they've alreay be in the fan's neck tube. I led the plug wire out like it used to be but didn't attach to anything to make it look like a real fan.

-An original fan wing.

Step 3: Attach the Wire to the Circuit

(photo #1)

Before we go on, I suggest you to test the fan's switch that you would like to use as the on-off switch.

Weld it to the circuit to make sure it works.


Then, use soldering iron to weld the 2 wire that had been attached to an original moter with the circuit at the switch position. At the opposition side of the same 2 wires, you have to attach them to one of the fan's switches that you like.

Step 4: Make a Base for Placing the Circuit

We will move on the the head to make a base for placing a circuit and a small motor

I used bagasse paper to make this.


draw the outline of the exectly same size and shape of the moter then cut it to make a hole.

( photo #2-3)

For the circuit base I make it longer than the circuit so I can place the battery on and also th fit inside the moter's cover. Inside the moter's cover, I also used the bagasse paper to be a thick small pole that has the exectly same high when put the base in to support the circuit base. (No picture here, I have only the circuit base picture. Sorry.)

Step 5: Put the Head Back on the Shoulder

Right now, the fan doesn't have its orginal motor for me to stick things back so I have to do something with it. I used the L-shape angle iron to connect things the neck, the joint and the head back together.

Step 6: Put Thing in the Right Place.

As you can see from the picture now , things are nearly done. We have left only the main character to put on stage now.

Step 7: Cut the Plastic Cover for the Battery Replacement .

It would be so hard to replace the batteries, if you had to remove every thing of the head of the fan to get into the circuit base. So I decided to make a hinge on the plactic cover.

Step 8: Little Little Fanny

Making a little tiny fan will use some skill of ... well, making tiny thing....

I used Balsa round stick to be its axle because the Balsa wood is hard enough to be one but, soft enough for my tiny motor's axle to stab in.

Then, I drew the each fan wings on hard paper, cut it and glue it on the Balsa axle.

After that I painted black color to make it looks like a real fan wing.

Step 9: Attach the Eyes!

After that, I made a tiny holes on the fan's face cover that can fit the sensors. I used glue heat gun to put some glue behind the cover to attach the sensors. Then, I arraged the 4 wires of each sensors' legs along the lines of this cover.

Step 10: Final Touch :}

I made stickers for the switches too so if anyone notice this they could press the right switch easier. ( I also made stickers of my name and put them on the fan ! LolO )

Even though my concept is to make it looks realistic as possible, being an interactive art object that blend in the normal world but, make a sign for people to get noticed is also give them a clue how the interaction works. Because the most important part of my art project's proposal is to bring the audiences to the stage of imagination and interpretation by themselves.


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    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. This is my first full Instructables post I've made ! and it's all in English language. Glad you see it's interesting. :D