How to Automate a Haunted House Using Sensors
Haunted houses are designed to be very creepy and with enough volunteers, they may be loaded with frights around every corner. What if there are not enough volunteers available to haunt the house? Infrared photoelectric sensors are the perfect device to detect guests and to trigger electronic gadgets, such as noise makers or motorized animatronic characters, giving visitors a scare they won't soon forget.
Sensors are used every day in various industries ranging from food processing to automotive assembly lines. Some of the top commercial haunted houses in the country are now using the very same sensors to automate their haunted attractions, providing a far creepier presentation. Industrial sensors are available to the general public for less money than you might expect, giving the average Joe an opportunity to built a haunted house that rivals even the ones presented by major theme parks.
The easiest type of photoelectric sensor to use in a haunted house attraction is one that uses a mechanical relay switch. This type of sensor is as easy to wire and operate as a light switch. Also be sure that the photoelectric sensors use infrared light and do not display a visible light which would draw attention to them. Arrange the photoelectric sensors across from each other in a hallway or door jamb, or anywhere that a guest will pass between them. The guest will break the infrared beam of light, causing the mechanical relay switch in the photoelectric controller to close, which will provide power to a noise maker or animatronic device. Each time a guest passes the sensors, the same action will occur repeatedly without operator intervention. This allows volunteers in the haunted house to spend time mingling with the guests and not hiding behind walls, just making noise.
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