Let's Make Robots!

Tilt Switch - Inclinometer- with Analog Signal (Spirit Level Style)

Here is an idea on making a simple Tilt Switch. (aka Inclinometer)

It would be cheap and contains no mercury

The Idea is So:-

Version 1

Take a  clear tube either flexible tube or curved glass tube.

Place an infrared Detector (led) at both ends.

Place an infrared Transmitter to shine in the middle part.

The inside of the tube should be filled with a semi dark liquid  or thick oil ......

..... the important thing is to make sure that there is an "Air-Bubble" in the tube.

The idea is that when the whole assembly tilts one way - the bubble will travel to the other side

(just like a spirit level used to measure flat surfaces).

There will be an analog change in IR light level.

Any ideas on Applications or where it could be used ..........

                     1D Version                                                         2D Version   













The Actual Version  MK1

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Yes the Capacitive Version on make is very neat idea i must say............ and the other Blog just goes to show how cool these devices are :-)

Just pondering if/how i could intergrate the capacitive idea into my spirit level.......mmmmmm could be tricky.

NB. yeah people who have inclinometers are inclined to Blog.

Well, I couldn't find what I was looking for exactly, but I believe it's the same basic setup as this here;



Except instead of both going straight forward, there was the emitter on top, and the detector on bottom, with a 1cm (guessing) gap between the two. Not sure if this would work, just an idea :D

Haven't worked with them at all so haven't experimented with the characteristics of .. well.. anything when using sensors! :D


Was thinking one on each side to measure the differences in level and compare, giving you the offset.

Yes this is the Sensor i use - however the RX side has no IR filter - so it is affected by stray light :-(

so i had to paint the tube with acrylic paint to block light out.


We should have a bunch of 'robo-points' to give away every month (let say 5) for best projects/inventions and such.

I'd give my August points to this post.


Thanks for the "Spirit" support.


Here it is First go as electronic analoge tilt sensor see video above of it in action........

...... its the black tube thing on the right - the left side of the bread board is not part of the circuit Duh...

The puns are getting out of level, but in a good way, I suppose.

Any chance we get a diagram of the circuit?

Very simple circuit :- voltage is taken off Pin 1

In the video i just connect the voltmeter from pin1 of left sensor to pin 1 of right sensor (hence the -/+ swing)


Calibrated bubbles can be obtained but yours truly (maybe i could levy a tax on bubbles).




Yes the first attempt is on its way - i have only tested half - have to solder to a neat board etc. (edit:-flying component approach instead)

All i have done is mount 2 QRD1114s Reflective Object Sensors onto a spirit level hacked from my toolkit (in the name of science)

The bread board test works well ....  a 3rd could be mounted in the middle too.

and the voltage signals are in fact mostly Analogue with big swing (it would have to be Calibrated though).


              "Smile Please"                          ok a side "Grin" will do.