Build a Cheap and Easy IR Detector and Motor Driver for SUMO ROBOT

Introduction: Build a Cheap and Easy IR Detector and Motor Driver for SUMO ROBOT

Here you can learn Step-by-Step how to build a motor driver Infra-red controlled with only two transistors !

The circuit has a permanent lit IR LED and a Photo-diode connected directly to a BC212 Base which will amplify the signal from and will feed it to a medium power transistor BD135 (Collector-Base). From this BD135 you will power a DC Motor, turning this way it's opposite to enemy ROBOT. If you connect you sensors differently you can simulate diferent behaviours according to BRAITENBERG (please see

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Step 1: Cut a Small Piece of a Stripboard With 8x14 Holes

Step 2: Solder the Resistors


4 x 330R resistors fromTtrack 8 to Track 2

1 x 560R resistor from Track 1 to Track 4

I used four 330R in parallel because otherwise a single 1/8 W resistor of around 100R would BURN !

You can use any value lower for example 4x100R resistors and this will give max IR distance but will drive your IR LED to the maximum current so be careful not to kill it ! :D

A total resistor lower than 14 OHM will kill you IR LED for sure ( I have tested it) :D

Step 3: Solder the 1N4004 Diode

Solder the DIODE's Cathode (-) to Track 8 and Anode (+) to Track 4

Be careful with Diode's poles... negative side is the one with a grey strip, don't solder it wrong !

Step 4: Solder the Header Pins on Track 8 (Positive), 3 (Motor Out) and 4 (Negative)

Track 8 is the positive supply, Track 3 is negative pole and Track 4 is the output for the motor. Motor connects between Track 8 (positive) and Track 4 (BD135 Colector).

We will use a group of 4 pins to the Positive and 2 groups of 2 headers for Motor Out and Negative respectively.

If you want you can use an ERASER to help you solder the header pins and even to support you small circuit while you solder other components.

Step 5: Solder the BC212 and the BD135

Solder the BC212 (or any other PNP small signal Ex: BC557) and the BD135 for POWER !

Now be careful these are heat sensitive components they can burn by overtime to heat source like an SOLDERING IRON.

Step 6: Solder the LED's and Photodiode

Solder the LEDS (RED and INFRA-RED) and Photo diode (IR RECEIVER) as seen it on the pictures. Be careful with the polarities : Always remember photo diode is connected inversely as for the other LED you can see longest leg is the POSITIVE.

Insert INFRA-RED LED shortest leg (-) on Track 3 and longest leg (+) on Track 2

Insert PHOTO DIODE longest leg (+) on Track 3 and shortest leg (-) on Track 6

Insert INFRA-RED LED shortest leg (-) on Track 3 and longest leg (+) on Track 1

It's very important both PHOTO DIODE and INFRA-RED LED are ate the SAME LEVEL an very close to one another as they form a PAIR ! The closest they are the better they will work together !

A diodes and LED's face thei

Step 7: Finish Attaching the Motors and Supply...

Verify your tracks ! See if there is any short circuit !

Make an intentional short between Track 8 and 7... I meant it like that when I designed it for teaching purposes to see if my students could find the problem after the circuit was built !

Attach wires and power supply !

TEST-IT ! And enjoy your ROBOT !

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Very Nice MY FRIEND S2


    3 years ago

    I would suggest you to show some schematic of how the components are connected together, it doesn't make much sense by looking the circuit from above. Besides, an explanation of the working principles of this circuit would be interesting.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Dear Ineves thanks for your comment, I hope you like the Schematic I have made and basic explanation :) I will be putting some videos in Portuguese as I know you understand :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    It is better now, I liked the reference to the Braitenberg robot, explaining more your motivation for this project.
    It is preferable to keep the videos in english, so many others could use your explanations to make their own circuits.
    Thanks for accepting my suggestions.