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Related: Sensors

Cliff Sensor

Samsung's Cliff Sensor
Samsung's Cliff Sensor
A Cliff Sensor is important to have on certain robotic systems to avoid excessive drops that otherwise might damage the robot. Roomba models come with a cliff sensor to help them avoid driving over stairwells or ledges.

A cliff sensor can be mechanical, optical, or even ultrasonic - however they all achomplish the same purpose. A mechanical cliff sensor is simply a contact that runs along the ground that when a large drop off is encountered - flips a switch or sensor that tells the controller that it has reached a drop off.

The roomba uses an optical cliff sensor - which shines an LED onto the ground at an angle that is picked up from a sensor. When the roomba comes across a large drop off, the reflected light from the LED is no longer detected into the receiver, and the roomba registers the drop off.

Ultrasonic sensors simply determine the distance to a surface, and when the distance changes rapidly, it registers a cliff. Check out more about ultrasonic sensors in the links below.

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