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Arduino Tutorial: Use a Piezo Element to Detect Vibration

circuit connection Piezo element to detect vibration 279x300 Arduino Tutorial: Use a Piezo Element to Detect Vibration

Arduino Tutorial: Use a Piezo Element to Detect Vibration. This tutorial shows you how to use a Piezo element to detect vibration, in this case, a knock on a door, table, or other solid surface.

A piezo is an electronic device that generates a voltage when it’s physically deformed by a vibration, sound wave, or mechanical strain. Similarly, when you put a voltage across a piezo, it vibrates and creates a tone. Piezos can be used both to play tones and to detect tones.

The sketch reads the piezos output using the analogRead() command, encoding the voltage range from 0 to 5 volts to a numerical range from 0 to 1023 in a process referred to as analog-to-digital conversion, or ADC.

If the sensors output is stronger than a certain threshold, your Arduino will send the string “Knock!” to the computer over the serial port.

Open the serial monitor to see this text.

Hardware Required

  • Arduino Board
  • (1) Piezo electric disc
  • (1) Megohm resistor
  • solid surface

Piezos are polarized, meaning that voltage passes through them (or out of them) in a specific direction. Connect the black wire (the lower voltage) to ground and the red wire (the higher voltage) to analog pin 0. Additionally, connect a 1-megohm resistor in parallel to the Piezo element to limit the voltage and current produced by the piezo and to protect the analog input.

It is possible to acquire piezo elements without a plastic housing. These will look like a metallic disc, and are easier to use as input sensors. PIezo sensors work best when firmly pressed against, taped, or glued their sensing surface.

Schematic Diagram:

schematic diagram Piezo element to detect vibration 292x300 Arduino Tutorial: Use a Piezo Element to Detect Vibration

A Piezo to attached to analog pin 0 with a 1-Megohm resistor


In the code below, the incoming piezo data is compared to a threshold value set by the user. Try raising or lowering this value to increase your sensor’s overall sensitivity.

/* Knock Sensor
This sketch reads a piezo element to detect a knocking sound.
It reads an analog pin and compares the result to a set threshold.
If the result is greater than the threshold, it writes
“knock” to the serial port, and toggles the LED on pin 13.
The circuit:
* + connection of the piezo attached to analog in 0
* – connection of the piezo attached to ground
* 1-megohm resistor attached from analog in 0 to ground

created 25 Mar 2007
by David Cuartielles
modified 4 Sep 2010
by Tom Igoe
This example code is in the public domain.
// these constants won’t change:
const int ledPin = 13; // led connected to digital pin 13
const int knockSensor = A0; // the piezo is connected to analog pin 0
const int threshold = 100; // threshold value to decide when the detected sound is a knock
or not
// these variables will change:
int sensorReading = 0; // variable to store the value read from the sensor pin
int ledState = LOW; // variable used to store the last LED status, to toggle the light
void setup() {
pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT); // declare the ledPin as as OUTPUT
Serial.begin(9600); // use the serial port
void loop()
// read the sensor and store it in the variable sensorReading:
sensorReading = analogRead(knockSensor);
// if the sensor reading is greater than the threshold:
if (sensorReading >= threshold) {
// toggle the status of the ledPin:
ledState = !ledState;
// update the LED pin itself:
digitalWrite(ledPin, ledState);
// send the string “Knock!” back to the computer, followed by newline
delay(100); // delay to avoid overloading the serial port buffer

Download the Arduino Tutorial: Use a Piezo Element to Detect Vibration in PDF document:
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Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots. Robotics is related to the sciences of electronics, engineering, mechanics mechatronics, and software
  Title :   Arduino Tutorial: Use a Piezo Element to Detect Vibration
  Category :   Arduino Tutorials, Electronics, Microcontroller, Programming, Robotics Tutorial, Sensors, Software.
  Tags :   arduino piezo element sensor,  Arduino Tutorial,  use a piezo element to detect vibration,  vibration detector arduino, 

Robotics Short Story

The word robotics was derived from the word robot, which was introduced to the public by Czech writer Karel Čapek in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which premiered in 1921.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word robotics was first used in print by Isaac Asimov, in his science fiction short story "Liar!", published in May 1941 in Astounding Science Fiction. Asimov was unaware that he was coining the term; since the science and technology of electrical devices is electronics, he assumed robotics already referred to the science and technology of robots. In some of Asimov's other works, he states that the first use of the word robotics was in his short story Runaround (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1942). However, the word robotics appears in "Liar!"

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