Let's Make Robots!

"Hey! Something nearby is moving!" Sensor?

Hey LMR. I'm going to be brutally honest and forward about my plans for a robot...

I want it to chase people.

Are there any kinds of sensor devices that would somehow detect a person to run towards it?  I'm thinking something that detects motion would be ideal. 

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This is your first project, is it?

Yes...

Am I trying to run before I've learned to walk with this one?

There will be a lot of steps to be learned to get to your eventual goal. I can also say that there is a huge difference between following and chasing. Most folks work a long time just to get to the "following" stage. To answer your question, there is not really a "there is a person over there at x heading" sensor, there are tricky ways to use "regular" sensors to make a pretty good guess that the robot is looking at a person.

On the other hand, if you can accept that your first robot is probably not going to be chasing anyone, this is a pretty cool hobby. The fact of the matter is that you can build a robot, and from there, its functionality is limited only by what is in your brain. Code and logic give you fun puzzels to solve --much fun.

All of us started the same way, get a microcontroller of some kind, picaxe, arduino, prop, etc and make a LED blink. Or grab a Start Here robot --A helluva deal at 100 bucks or so and there is a ton of info and people around here to give you a hand.

Perhaps I should get my head out of the clouds and start with the SHR to understand my limitations first.  Thanks for your help :).

Just make sure your feet are grounded, so you can make intelligent decisions about how to get to where your head is. :)

Start with the SHR and then you can add functionality to it as you learn. a PIR sensor will allow you to detect mammals (and candles...) with some accuracy. But CTC is right, you are going to have a hard time doing this without some intermediate steps.

motion detect might be easy direction of that motion will be harder,  it might need a few sensors to dertermon the diretion of movment , some kind of camera system pixil counting or some thing like that