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One answer lies in utility and the evolutionary origin of our eyesight. Our eye is basically the same as that of a fish. Water absorbs red light. It absorbs near infrared even more strongly. Fish didn't evolve the ability to see in the near infrared because this strong absorption would make that capability rather useless. Near infrared would also be rather ...


The IR sensors that OP is talking about work by emitting IR from an LED and then measuring IR intensity reflected back from an object close enough (scroll to Sharp GP2Y0A21YK IR Proximity Sensor). Addressing the comments: the temperature of the robot and the resulting blackbody emission in the IR is small enough to be irrelevant to the question. IR is used ...

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