Personal (IR) Radar

[chris] sent in this inexpensive personal radar project. It uses a servo mounted IR range finder to locate and display the distance to an object. (Lake a parked car as shown in the demo video) The project is destined for some robotics projects – and who doesn’t love LED display proximity sensors. It makes me think of the direction finders in every other 80’s action movie. It’s gotten some attention on Digg, but I like it for the inexpensive build and the excellent use of a PIC 18F452.


  1. Lambda_drive says:

    Since it doesn’t use radio waves you can’t really classify it as “radar”.

  2. Skyler Orlando says:

    “Lidar” then. I think that’s the term for it. But it looks really cool.

  3. Hello. I have done exactly the same, about one year ago and altough the name LIDAR (light detecting and ranging) was the same !!! It was based upon Pic16F628 but using a stepper motor, not a RC servo. I suggest to mount the sensor in the vertical way, because is much more accurate if you span horizontal way (see the sensor PDF). If you want take a look to the picture of my lidar version, this is the address:

  4. It’s really not lidar either :) Instead of timing the light’s reflection, it uses an infrared led and a long ir sensor behind a plastic aperture to measure the distance as a triangle.

  5. Chupa says:

    Anyone recommend a place to purchase these IR modules? I dont think Digikey or mouser has them :-(

  6. Chupa says:

    nm, digikey has a whole bunch of them.

  7. BigD145 says:

    That was a horrible demo in the vehicle.

  8. Ben says:

    “Lake a parked” rather “Like a parked”

  9. Earl Jr. says:

    In the second part of the video, I thought it was going to be a zombie attack!

  10. Bruno says:

    Yeah, lake a parked car, that kind of sounds fun.

    This project is EXACTLY what I was planning on doing with my fadora and a heads up display. Thank you [chris]

  11. CyanFlux says:

    would be cool to have it send data to a computer remotely

  12. somedude says:

    “Lake a Parked Car”. Essentially this involves becoming God, picking up a lake, and then dropping it over some poor guys (put in favorite supercar).
    I like this kind of crazy project.

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