Let's Make Robots!

What distance sensors are better and best?

I am working on a much faster & stronger version of Robot Wall Racers, using quite fast RC-cars

I want to use lasers as distance sensors, but I think they will be a little over budget, altough this is a paid for job :)

Yes, SRF05's clai, they can detect a broomstick on 3 meters.. but in reality they are not stable before say 1.5 meters.

1.5 meters when you are traveling at 25km/h is NOT a lot, when you even are set up with drifting tyres.

So I would like a little longer "view". And it can be pricey, say USD 50-70 for each sensor.

only problem;

I do not know of any better sensors than SRF05 at this level, do you? 

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I have had some success with a homebrew range finder that costs about $10(US) to produce.

It uses a cheap red laser pointer, photodarlington, filter, and spinning mirror. I usually include a dedicated PIC micro to turn the timing into serial range data for a master micro.

Range is good from 3" out to 50' depending on conditions. And accuaracy is traded for refresh rate depending on how fast the mirror spins - since it uses the triangulation method. Range resolution of <1cm updated @40KHz is what I often use. 

The problem I can see using this for your application is that a car could crash into a chair leg because the laser range finder might be pointed to one side or the other. In this case the more coarse resolution of sonar sensors may be a benefit - I have had good results from MAXbotics EZ1.



Actually, all they do is light up some LEDS that you can see in the rearview mirror. They aren't attached to any type of control device.  

Have you tried the higher end sharp sensors? Some go out several meters. Have you thought of using more than one sensor?