Sensors Compatibility

Dear Fellows, In the past few days, i started working on a project with Arduino Uno. The problem is that we dont have specific sensors for it, in place of that we have some sensors (Line Following and Ambient Air Temperature) from a Robotics Connection Kit (www.roboticsconnection.com) ( Serializer 3.0 Robot Controller ). Does anyone know if they can work together ( arduino and sensors) ? If they can, does it require any specific circuit for it? And if they cant, why they are not compatible?

Thanks in advance,

Matt

You need to check the specification of the interfaces.

Arduino works typically with 0 and 5Volt (this is called TTL level). Sensors can do this too, but they can also be 3.3 volt which means you might need a voltage convertor.

Sensors are spoken to in a certain protocol. That can be as simple as an output voltage between 0..5V (e.g. LM35 temp sensor) which can be connected to an Arduino Analog pin. Or it talks rs232 (TTL level other higher -> converter needed) or it talks SPI or I2C . These three are supported in the hardware of the arduino. However for these and other protocols there also exist software libraries like softI2C, or Dallas oneWire.

So in short most sensors will connect to Arduino but you need to get the voltages right and the protocol right. Then yo can talk to the sensors in the software code.

So in answer to your questions: 1: yes 2: possibly, in theory for every sensor one can design a circuit that let it talk to Arduino, in practice there are limits like budget and common sense :) 3: million reasons, sensors existed before Arduino, made for special market (car's using 12V), etc

@robtillaart -

I thought that was a pretty great, general overview/explanation of how everything works with each other!!

kudos.

Rob is great at explaining stuff!

Here's an example of a line following sensor, with How-To on connecting it to Arduino and some Test Sketch. http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/Robot+7-wayMultiTrackingSensor

It's not the one you have, but hopefully you can get an idea of how to connect sensors like this.