Optoelectronics

Reliably detect mirrored & transparent surfaces

18th April 2016
Nat Bowers

Able to reliably identify mirrored, transparent, diffuse and other hard to detect surfaces, a high performance optical sensor has been unveiled by Omron Electronic Components Europe. The B5W Light Convergent Reflective Sensor detects target objects much more reliably than general reflection photo sensors, even those that are often a challenge - such as black surfaces.

The sensor's convergent light beam can be accurately set to trigger on the presence of an object within a tightly specified target area, and ignore any objects in the background or foreground. The B5W features a combination of a cylindrical and a non-spherical lens.

The design of the B5W allows it to detect objects that are often a challenge for traditional sensors. These include transparent cups and glasses in vending machines, diffuse surfaces that scatter incident light like carpets, black surfaces that absorb light and mirrored surfaces. A typical application is a step detection function in a robot device, where the B5W can reliably distinguish wood, glass, carpet and other floor surfaces from a downward step, to avoid risk of the robot falling.

The B5W can detect objects over a maximum distance of 70mm and provides an analogue output signal.

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