Blink 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 ...


One of the common modules used in making Simple Bots is the Blink Module. This involves photocoupling an LED to a bike safety light. When the safety light turns on, the motor turns on and when the light turns off, the motor turns off. On account of this, the motor reacts to the different blink patterns of the safety light and that is, obviously, why it is called a blink module. This module allows you to add a little bit of predictable unpredictability to your bot and is a lot of fun. Add this module to just about any bot for interesting results.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff


You will need:

- A bike safety light
- Simple Light Switch
- 1/2" shrink tubing

Step 2: Remove and Mark


Make a mark on the bike light's clear cover directly atop the center LED.

Remove the cover.

Step 3: Drill


Drill a 3/16" hole in the spot that you marked.

Step 4: Glue

Place the shrink tube over the center LED and insert the photo sensor down into the shrink tube such that the sensor is directly facing the LED.

This is a little unorthodox, but rather than heating the shrink tube with a heat gun and then gluing it, simply hot glue it in place. Aside from holding everything in place, the heat from the hot glue will also compress the shrink tube.

Step 5: Cover


Place the cover back onto the bike light such that the leads from the light sensor are sticking out of the hole you drilled.

The module is now ready to go.

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