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I am trying to build an advanced coloured lines following robot with the ability to differentiate between many different coloured lines and follow them. I am looking for the right sensor that will help my robot achieve its objective.

As I was researching I came across the EV3 Colour Sensor which can detect up to 7 colours.

Is this sensor suitable for my project?

What other sensors can I use and how?

Thank You

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  • $\begingroup$ Are the lines going to have hard turns (like right angles) or will it be curvy? I've always used multiple sensors on the bottom, the more the merrier, so buy multiple $\endgroup$ – Tom Prats Dec 9 '13 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ I would imagine that the answer to this question depends heavily on the width of the lines that you'll be following, and how close the sensor needs to be in order to sense the color (vs sensing a combination of 2 colors). $\endgroup$ – Ian Apr 16 '15 at 18:08
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The EV3 Color Sensor will work great if you're using the Mindstorms platform, if not it will be a pain it uses a non standard connection style and a not quite standard I2C communication protocol. If you are using an arduino then I would recommend something like this from sparkfun which still uses the I2C bus but will be far easier to integrate into a project.

In order to use it you will have to profile the color of the lines you want to follow in the exact same conditions that you will use for your robot to get best results.

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    $\begingroup$ The EV3 Color Sensor is not I2C at all. It uses UART with a custom protocol. See ev3.fantastic.computer/doxygen/UartProtocol.html $\endgroup$ – David Lechner Jul 7 '15 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Then I stand corrected, the NXT color sensor was and I was under the impression that the EV3 one was as well $\endgroup$ – Mark Omo Jul 7 '15 at 19:00
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I hope you can only use EV3 Color Sensor for line following and sensing colors. There are 3 modes for the Color Sensor. You can use 2 of them for these tasks:

1.) Color Mode This mode is best suited for sensing colors. This is really useful if the darkness of the Colors are same. It can only sense a handful of Colors: Black[1], Blue[2], Green[3], Yellow[4], Red[5], White[6] and Brown[7]. If you don't want to make your Robot follow the line precisely you can use this mode.

2.) Reflected Light Intensity This is used to determine the reflection of the surface. This is very useful if you want to make your Robot follow the line precisely. Let's say if you want your Robot to follow in between the black line and the white line. You can get the reflected values of the white surface and the black surface and add them and dividing them by 2 will give the threshold value to make your Robot follow in between the black and white line. It is generally used to measure the darkness of a surface. The more darker the surface,lesser is the reflection. The more brighter the surface, more is the reflection.

Unfortunately you can't use both the modes simultaneously in EV3 as it will result in resource conflict letting your Robot to crash. Instead you can use 2 Color sensors to use both the modes simultaneously in each sensor.

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