For the sake of keeping it short and simple, let’s say I’m building a pinball machine.
I need to be able to detect when the ball hits a fixed cylinder from any angle. It doesn’t have to be a solid hit, I want it to be able to detect the ball even if it barely grazes the cylinder. I thought of sticking a piezo sensor inside the cylinder, but I don’t want the sensor to be triggered if someone hits the machine or something.
Keep in mind that there will be multiple cylinders near each other which is part of the reason why I didn’t go with IR detection, although I haven’t ruled it out. I was thinking that if the ball broke a beam surrounding the cylinder, it would trigger, but I want to ensure that it will trigger no matter where it hits on the cylinder.
Certainty that it will trigger is the goal, and, well, low cost sensors if possible, considering there will be as many sensors as there are cylinders (there will be a lot of cylinders ).
I do not need any feedback as to where it hits, just that the ball has indeed touched the cylinder.
What do you think is the best course of action to detect a touch or hit or tap of the cylinder with a ball?
Thank you for your help and I appreciate your responses,
Hi, There are very sensitive touch sensors that are used in "3D profiling" of objects by an X-Y-Z- controlled machine. I believe they have a small metal bar with one end in a metal piece that is VERY close in diameter, so that 1/1000 of an inch or so deflection makes contact. Are you thinking of fabricating stuff or do you want off-the-shelf sensors?
I bet others here will have more/better ideas...
I don’t mind either way, making it or off the shelf. That is interesting, though, although it doesn’t sound very cheap. Thanks for the idea! Any other ideas? Anyone?