Let's Make Robots!

Motion sensor for following objects - need ideas!

I'm pretty new to the site, so I hope this is the best forum to post this in.  I'm just starting with robotics and have a project in mind.  As I learn more, I'm gathering the parts needed to complete it.  Without blabbing on about the project, I'm wanting to create a robot that follows an object.  My question is what is the best approach to this?  I'm using an Arduino now, but maybe I need to upgrade some components.  I was hoping there was some sort of motion sensor chip that was available commercially that I could use, but after searching and finding nothing I'm now thinking I'll need a camera and need to work with that.

Any thoughts on how to accomplish this?

(Two possible examples of what I'm looking for are a robot on wheels that follows you like a puppy instead of following a line on the floor; or maybe something simpler: a "flashlight" or led that points at you and follows you as you walk by it.)

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Ultrasonic distance finder that does 15 degrees, mounted on a servo. Sweep back and froth getting readings every 15 degrees for 180 degrees. If one reading begins increasing, follow it. there is a lot more to it, because things will get complicated when the robot moves, but you have to figure that out...

You could possibly have it follow infrared light using an IR emitter LED on the object to be followed and an array of IR detectors on the robot.  A camera is a great solution too as it will work better and in cases where there is ambient infrared light, just harder to implement and more costly.  Maybe check out CMUCAM3.