More in the line of robotics observing their environment, I'm trying to implement a proximity sensor that can sense objects in front of it to a least up to $-30^ \circ \space$ to $\space+30^ \circ $ of it's direction of propagation.

There are only two ways I can think of

  1. Multiple Infrareds. Con: more spacious
  2. Fast-Motor. Con: expensive in money and time-complexity wise

I'm currently using a Proximity Sensor with up to 10ft distance capability

  • $\begingroup$ Probably overkill: Vision. Other option, use ultrasonic sensor(s). $\endgroup$
    – 2pietjuh2
    Mar 28, 2014 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ -30 to +30 degrees is not really a good measure. At what distance do you wish for that? Most sensors have polar plots in their datasheets that describe their sensitivity. $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2014 at 11:03
  • $\begingroup$ I need 5ft atleast $\endgroup$
    – Iancovici
    Mar 28, 2014 at 11:33

2 Answers 2


You might want to check out these ultrasonic proximity sensors for example: http://www.maxbotix.com/pictures/HRUSB-MaxSonar-EZ/HRUSB-MaxSonar-EZ%20Beam%20Patterns.gif And then use two or three of them if needed to get a wider field. They can be bought all over, sparkfun being one of the shops.


  • $\begingroup$ Be careful about interference between separate sensors. $\endgroup$
    – Ian
    Aug 5, 2014 at 2:09

It depends on the purpose, but −30∘ to +30∘ (cone shaped beam) smells like ultrasonic sensors.

However, if you don't like ultrasonic and you are more "infrared person" you may also make your own scanner (SHARP GP2Y0A21YK0F + RC servo) like here (chapter "5.3.3 Skaner 2D"):

  • $\begingroup$ Please, indicate that the first link is in Polish and surely not everybody can read it $\endgroup$ May 2, 2014 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ @SnakeSanders use translate.google.com $\endgroup$ May 5, 2014 at 8:37

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