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How do I use Voyager's IR rangefinder?

PocketLab Voyager has an infrared rangefinder for measuring position and velocity. Learn the basics here.

Measuring Position and Velocity

Open the range finder in the app settings and display the position and velocity graph. Point the PocketLab Voyager at a desk or wall (Note: A white, solid surface will get the best signal). Move the PocketLab closer and then farther from the surface. The PocketLab is using an infrared signal to calculate its distance from the surface which is then used to calculate its velocity.

Rangefinder - basics1

Measuring the Position and Velocity of a Cart

Attach the PocketLab Voyager to the top of a cart so the IR rangefinder is pointing at a wall. Display the position and velocity graph and push the cart toward the wall to measure its movement. The PocketLab TurboTrack Kit and the PocketLab Advanced Sail Cart are good carts to use with PocketLab Voyager for this use case, however any physics cart will work.

Rangefinder basics 2

Range and field of view for IR rangefinder

As seen in the diagram above, the rangefinder has a range of up to 2 meters and a field of view of 25 degrees. The farther the target object is away from the PocketLab, the larger it needs to be to get the best signal as the field of view will get wider.


Lessons that use the IR rangefinder

Browse PocketLab lessons on PocketLab Notebook (thepocketlab.com/notebook) to find more use cases and experiments using the IR rangefinder. You can also read more about rangefinders work on this blog post.