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How to use an Arduino optical gate

This guide is going to demonstrate how you can build an optical gate in Arduino by using some of its sensors. With an optical gate, you will be able to monitor for example, daily traffic in a store. The guide consists of some basic definitions and a step by step guide, which shows, how you can build your own optical gate with Ozeki 10 on your computer. Let's start right now.

What is an optical gate?

Optical gate is a gate with two states. One state is for when nothing blocks the sensors of the gate. The other state occurs when an object blocks a sensor and breaks the optical circuit.

How to use an Arduino optical gate?

To operate an Arduino optical gate, you need two sensors, an infrared and a photo sensor. You have to wire them to your Arduino as you can see it on the wiring diagram (Figure 1). When you finished with the wiring, now you have an optical circuit if you face the two sensors to each other and it is operating now as an optical gate.

Arduino optical gate wiring diagram

wiring diagram of arduino optical gate
Figure 1 - Wiring diagram of Arduino optical gate

How to use an Arduino optical gate in Ozeki

Optical Gate Controller connections forward optical gate status information to a selected connection added to your Ozeki software. Optical gates are basicly an infra LED and photo sensor facing each other. If something blocks or unblocks the gate than Ozeki software will receive the changed status as you can see in the 3rd video, below. To use the Optical Gate in Ozeki, you first need to download Ozeki Robot Developer. Ozeki Robot Developer will install the Arduino libraries needed to use this sensor efficiently.

Download Ozeki Robot Developer

Download Ozeki Robot Developer

After Ozeki Robot developer is installed, you need to upload the Optical Gate control code to your Arduino. You can find the code and download instructions on the following pages. The upload process includes two steps: first you need to format the EEPROM of the arduino, then you need to upload the control code. The procedure is very simple, it only takes a few seconds.

Upload the Optical Gate code to Arduino Uno
Upload the Optical Gate code to Arduino Mega 2560
Upload the Optical Gate code to Arduino Nano
Upload the Optical Gate code to Raspberry Pi

The arduino sensors and Ozeki will communicate over the USB port using the Ozeki Optical Gate protocol. This protocol makes it possible for you to use the sensor directly on your PC. You will be able to control this sensor through the web based user interface or you will be able to communicate with it using Ozeki Chat. You can read more about chat control on the following page.

How to communicate with the Optical Gate using chat

It is important to understand chat control, because when you build a robot, the way you wish to control this sensor is by sending and receiving messages. If you open the Ozeki Robot Developer app, you will see, who you can write a C#.Net program to work with this sensor.

Connection steps

  1. Use the wiring diagram to connect the optical gate to your Arduino
  2. Plug the Arduino board into your computer
  3. Check the COM ports to see if your Arduino is connected
  4. Open the Arduino application on your computer
  5. Upload example code to the Arduino
  6. Open https://localhost:9515 in your browser
  7. Choose the connection of Optical gate
  8. Test the optical gate by placing an item between its sensors

System overview

The system we suggest consists of an infrared and photo sensor, both wired to the analog port of your Arduino. The Arduino will be responsible for reading data from this device in real-time. The brain of the system will be running on a PC (Figure 2). On the PC, Ozeki 10 will be able to manage the communication. You can easily run Ozeki 10 using a webbrowser

setup optical gate to pc using arduino
Figure 2 - System configuration of an optical gate connecting to PC using Arduino

Prerequisites

  • Optical gate
  • 100Ω and 100kΩ resistor
  • Ozeki 10 installed on your computer
  • Programmable board (Arduino Mega/Nano/Uno or Raspberry Pi)
  • USB cable is needed between Arduino Mega/Nano/Uno and your computer

Step 1 - Wire the optical gate to your Arduino

You can see how to wire the optical gate sensor to any of the following boards:

After wiring, please plug the board to your computer!

Step 2 - Upload code to the microcontroller

(Here is the code to upload)

Step 3 - Start Ozeki 10 to try the optical gate

Step 4 - Configure your optical gate in Ozeki 10

To be able to configure your optical gate (attached to your Arduino) in Ozeki 10, that is installed on your computer, you need to open the graphical user interface (GUI) of Ozeki 10. You can open the GUI by entering the URL of the computer into your webbrowser. For example, if our PC has an IP address of 192.168.1.5, we would enter http://192.168.1.5:9513 into our webbrowser.

Step 5 - Understand the optical gate protocol

The Optical Gate Controller can communicate with Ozeki through the following protocol.

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